In a lengthy blog post this morning, blogger Xiaxue (also known as Wendy Cheng) alleged that social media agency/influencer marketing network Gushcloud had engaged in unethical business practices – including inflating their bloggers’ stats, falsifying their company earnings in the press, and allowing their bloggers to mask paid posts as organic posts.
She also published viewership statistics on Yan Kay Kay’s YouTube Channel, which implied that the channel’s views, likes, and subscribers may have been bought. Yan Kay Kay’s YouTube channel is under Gushcloud’s video arm, Gush Studios.
(Source: Xiaxue’s Blog)
Kay Kay responded with this post on her Instagram.
At press time, Gushcloud did not respond to our questions, but they did post a statement on their Facebook page.
We talk to Xiaxue and ask her the questions that everyone is dying to know, post-blogpost.
You spent fair bit of time, money, and effort on this blogpost about Gushcloud, even going so far as to create a fake company to buy ads from them. What was the main trigger that made you want to write this blog post?
Xiaxue: I guess it was when Vincent (the CEO of Gushcloud) responded to my Dayre post with a post on the Gushcloud blog, where he basically implied that I was a liar.
Xiaxue’s original Dayre post (Source: Xiaxue’s Dayre)
Before that, I had already heard stories about Gushcloud, but I didn’t have any proof. I also didn’t have motivation to go and dig further because I’m doing OK on my end, and it’s not like they are stealing all the business. But after I read Vincent’s blog post, I was like, “Shit man, this guy is still not repentant, and is calling me a liar?!”
We noticed that the names on the fake company website you created for this blogpost were kind of um, funny. We know Doug Chu S.L is an anagram for Gushcloud, but what do the other anagrams really stand for?
Atvin Chen is an anagram for Vincent Ha.
Ethan C. Liu is an anagram for Unethical.
Melezze B is an anagram for Embezzle.
These are just random words hor, no relevance to Gushcloud OK.
In your blogpost, you asked people to email you if they needed help. Has anyone come forward already?
I haven’t gotten any emails from Gushcloud influencers so far, but I have received a few emails from vendors and people who have worked with Gushcloud. They told me a lot of juice about them, stuff that would open a big can of worms…but of course a lot of them want to remain anonymous.
Are you able to share what they told you?
I can’t because I promised them I wouldn’t, but they told me some really…amazing things.
Since you published the post this morning, what has the general response from the public been like?
So far it has been quite good, and a lot of people are on my side. Even people I thought wouldn’t be.
What do you think Gushcloud supporters will be saying about you? And what do you have to say to them?
They’ll probably say that I’m a bully and just jealous of them. And to that I say…just fucking address the issue at hand here, instead of beating about the bush and trying to change the topic like some childish idiot.
Wah, you don’t mince your words, huh?
It’s like if I find a cockroach in my chicken rice and ask you why it’s there, but you change the topic and say “Wah you so fat already, why you still eat chicken rice?” It’s completely irrelevant right?! You should just address the real issue, which is why there was even a cockroach in your chicken rice.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I don’t really know whether I should be surprised or not by Gushcloud’s reaction so far. I think they will probably deny everything, even though the evidence is just staring in your face.
I guess maybe their strategy might be to say that their YouTube views are real, because that’s the only thing I couldn’t conclusively prove.
And finally…we’re going to ask you the obvious question that is on everybody’s mind. What happened with you and Kay Kay? It’s quite obvious that you guys aren’t exactly friends anymore.
Basically, we fell out. I think we realised that we were both harbouring bad feelings towards each other. For me, it became increasingly difficult to accept her as a friend because she wasn’t just offline Kay Kay anymore, she was also online Kay Kay. I realised that I didn’t really like her online persona and the things she did online, which I felt wasn’t in line with my own moral principles.
Xiaxue and Kay Kay, circa 2010. (Source: Xiaxue’s Blog)
Xiaxue first publicized her disagreement with Gushcloud’s business practices a few months ago. In a Dayre entry from 3 March 2014 (titled ‘Nuffnang’s birthday bash’), Xiaxue wrote about how a company, whose name “starts with G”, engages in “unethical means to make money”. She did not mention Gushcloud’s name in the post. However, Gushcloud’s name was mentioned in the comments section by a few readers.
In response to her Dayre entry, Gushcloud co-founder Vincent Ha then posted a rebuttal on the Gushcloud blog on 6 March 2014 (titled ‘With Great Influence, Comes Great Responsibility’). In the post, he refuted the previous statements about inflating their earnings, masking paid ads as genuine reviews and buying fake followers and YouTube views. The blog has been unaccessible since shortly after Xiaxue’s blog post was published, but you can view a screen shot of the post here.
At press time, comments on the post seemed to mostly be in support of Xiaxue.
However, some disagreed with the points Xiaxue stated in her blog post.
(Source: Xiaxue’s Facebook Page)
Gushcloud co-founder Althea Lim issued a personal statement this morning, where she questioned Xiaxue’s intentions and challenged her points about fake YouTube views.
When asked to comment on the other allegations Xiaxue made against Gushcloud in her blog post (inflating earnings and bloggers’ stats, masking paid ads, financial reports), Althea said that the company would issue an official statement by the end of today. (Update: You can now view their official response here.)
You can view Althea’s blog post here.