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In 1992, a television series aired in Hong Kong on TVB titled The Greed of Man. The series told the more than three-decade-long story of Ting Hai, an “uneducated and pathologically self-righteous brute” (played by canto pop singer and actor Adam Cheng (b. 1947)) and Fong Chun-sun, “an honest person and cultivated”. and refined chef of the Asian Exchange” (played by Damian Lau) who were childhood friends, broke up and saw Ting kill Fong for a girl.

Ting Hai fled to Taiwan, became brutal again, and spent more than a decade in prison there. One of Ting Hai’s son chases a Fong girl, is pushed away, the son becomes violent. Eventually, the three Fong girls are killed, and Fong’s only son (played by Sean Lau) flees to Taiwan and makes him rich through indirect stock gambling. In Hong Kong, the Tings got rich by being short in the crash of 1987. Ting returned to Hong Kong, was charged with murder, and then bought himself out. Fong returns to Hong Kong, and they face off on the stock market in an epic drama of real good guys versus bad guys. Ting and his sons are supported by the triads. Fong is backed by a few Hong Kong tycoons. Eventually, Ting is devastated.

He responds by throwing his four sons off the top of the purse and following himself. Only Ting survives, now billions in debt, and spends the rest of his life in prison.

The first episode of the show actually started with this final scene of Ting throwing his sons out of the building. TVB received so many calls from disturbed viewers that they changed the show and moved its timeslot. Apparently, re-edits and re-runs of the show all show edited versions. The edited version was re-released on TV in 2015 and was well received in Hong Kong by a younger generation.

However, most important for this idea is that when the series started in 1992, the Hang Seng index fell 1,200 points in one month, almost 20% at the time. It started falling during the series, then the index fell 1,000 points (16+%) in four days after the horrific end.

There were so many complaints about the ending that TVB revised the video release and later re-edits.

The sharp drop in the market after Ting Hai left the building became known as the Ting Hai Effect or the Adam Cheng effect. Since then, according to the story, whenever a series or movie starring Adam Cheng airs, the Hang Seng drops sharply.

Two years later, another TVB drama series starring Adam Cheng titled “Instinct” aired from November 1994. The index began to drop a day or two before, after what had been an ugly year at to date, and dropped 20% in 7 weeks while the series aired.

1996 saw two series starring Adam Cheng air on TVB.

Cold Blood Warm Heart – a 65-episode romantic crime thriller series aired its first episode on February 5 and concluded on May 3. The market fell over 700 points or 6% during the period.

In early September 1996, Adam Cheng starred in another TVB series titled Once upon a time in Shanghai (a remake of a 1980s series called The Bund)which ran from September 2 to October 25, 1996. The Hang Seng index fell sharply the next day, and this was blamed on the Ting Hai effect, but the market did quite well in the series of 7 weeks.

In late 1997, he starred in a historical drama titled Legend of Yung Ching for a Taiwanese production company, covering a period in the mid-18th century of Emperor Kangxi, Emperor Yongzheng (role of Adam Cheng ) and the Qianlong Emperor in the Qing Dynasty. . Apparently the market fell the day it aired.

In June 1999, he starred in a four-episode series titled Lord of Imprisonment (possibly a Taiwanese series) which started Apparently later in the month. This Apparently began a fall of more than 6% of the Hang Seng index.

In 2000, a series entitled Divine retribution aired on VTT. It was a sequel to Greed of Man, and was originally called Greed of Man 2000 and was actually set in the near future, not the recent past as had been the case for the original series. It took place from September 11 to November 3, 2000. The Hang Seng index fell 10% in 6 weeks before rising again in the last two days of the series.

In March 2004 – from March 8 to April 24, 2004 – a 37 episode historical drama (more for the international version) starring Adam Cheng called Blade Heart aired on TVB. The opening theme song was performed by Adam Cheng.

You guessed it. The Hang Seng has fallen by more than 10% in 7 weeks.

Later that year he was on The Conqueror’s Story from October 25 to December 4 – also on TVB. The market fell almost 200 points the day the series began.

Adam Cheng also starred in a period costume drama titled The Prince’s Shadow from March 14 to April 18, 2005. The market fell on the first day, recovered most of its loss, but it was the high price of series. The market fell over the period of the series.

In 2007, Adam Cheng played a real estate CEO in a television drama set in contemporary China. The series, named Return Home, ran for 33 episodes starting July 15, 2007.

In 2009, he did a TVB series on Hong Kong TV called The King of Snooker. It was 20 episodes aired on TVB from March 30, 2009 to April 24, 2009. On the first day, the market fell over 600 points or 4.7% on the day. He had also filmed a series in 2008 titled The Book and The Sword – a 40-episode drama that aired in China from March 20, 2009. The Hong Kong market fell 2.3% that day.

On May 21, 2012, a 30-episode psychological thriller titled Master of Play starred Adam Cheng. It aired on TVB for 30 episodes until June 29, 2012. The market fell 10% in the 10 days before the new series launched.

A year later, the period drama Saving General Yang was released in Beijing on April 4, 2013, and the next day, the Hang Seng lost 610 points (-2.7%).

In April 2015, the original 1992 drama The greed of man which caused the Ting Hai effect to be replayed. On the first day of the replay (April 20), the market fell 2% or 558 points.

He was interviewed in the South China Morning Post 9 days later and the next morning the article came out (April 30). He said he was not responsible for the stock market crashing while airing his shows.

The market fell five days in a row.

Classically, a new series came out in 2018 titled Ever Night. He saw the ad in the previous two weeks, and the Hang Seng dropped around 1,000 points in the two weeks before the release. People were joking days before that the market drop was due to the new show.

The show was popular in China, so the 60-episode Season 1 started in October 2018 was followed by a 43-episode Season 2 starting on January 13, 2020 and lasting 3 months and one week. The market fell 25% since the start of Season 2 before bouncing back.

Which brings us to the present day…

Earlier this month, the sequel to The Greed Of Man was released to stream on Disney+. The market, which had rebounded that day, fell for the next 6 days.

And today, October 25, TVB is launching reruns of the 1988 series Behind the Silk Curtains starring Adam Cheng, where he plays a bank president and leads a businessman’s company to the bankruptcy so that he can take it over.

Remarks:

  • It’s a funny thing. But it seems to be taken a bit seriously. It ALWAYS comes back.
  • NOT ALL movie or TV appearances cause bad results. Bar Bender aired from April 3, 2006 on TVB Jade, and the market was up that day, fell slightly in the following days, but not seriously, and then rose 8% on April 26.
  • However, enough for it to retain its name decades later.

Sources:

  • CLSA published a Hong Kong Market Outlook article in April 2004 on the Adam Cheng effect. This is probably the first time I’ve heard of it.
  • The Ting Hai Effect wikipedia page is a starting point.
  • There was an article in Chinese on www.chinanews.com (original source: http://big5.chinanews.com.cn:89/gate/big5/www.chinanews.com/yl/ypkb/news/2009/04 – 02/1629867.shtml) in April 2009 just after the start of the King of Snooker series which talked about the Tin Hai effect. This is probably the source for some of the later English articles as one of the dates is wrong and most later English sources copy that date.
  • Wikipedia has a list of most TVB series by year of production.
  • IMDB has a list of most of his appearances. Wikipedia too.

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