Despite eye-catching news headlines that celebrity investors generate, skeptics have been concerned about their judgement and qualification: Can movie stars and singers be as knowledgeable and keen-sighted as professional investors?
"The main purpose of getting celebrities themselves involved is to win the bid. They have professional teams behind them, providing analysis and advice," said Zheng. "Frankly speaking, most VC projects are at such early stages that even professional investors can't tell whether or not they will fail."
"Successful VC investments also require a hunch as well as luck — to the extent, there's not so much difference between celebrities and professional investors," he added.
But the government is watching closely and has imposed stricter regulation.
In 2016, the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC) initiated a registration system for all private equity fund managers, requiring senior executives to pass China's national qualification exam for PE fund practitioners.
The exam, considered difficult to pass, might make some celebrities get cold feet, but not for Hu, who said he passed the exam in April 2016, after many nights of studying until 3 a.m.
Still, he said that achievement is not enough.
"I'm still an investor famous for my songs," Hu told the lecture hall crowd. "And hopefully one day I could become an investor famous for my investments."
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