Ting Hai effect

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Ting Hai effect
Traditional Chinese 丁蟹效應
Simplified Chinese 丁蟹效应

The Ting Hai effect, also known as the Adam Cheng effect, is a stock market phenomenon[1] in which there is a sudden and unexplained drop in the stock market whenever a film or a television series starring Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng is released.[2] It still remains as a popular topic among stock brokers, years after the television drama The Greed of Man was broadcast in Hong Kong in late 1992. The effect is named after Ting Hai, the primary antagonist in the drama, who was portrayed by Cheng.


In late 1992, the television series The Greed of Man was aired on TVB in Hong Kong. The drama centered heavily around the stock market, featuring dramatised schemes and plots by the main characters who aim to become rich through trading in the market. Ting Hai (Adam Cheng), the primary antagonist, made an immense fortune with his four sons by selling short derivatives and stocks during a bear market. Many people went broke, but the Ting family became richer and richer until their eventual defeat by the protagonist Fong Chin-bok (Sean Lau).[3]


Initially, the Ting Hai effect occurred whenever The Greed of Man or its loose sequel, Divine Retribution (produced by ATV), was broadcast in Hong Kong. However, it was observed later that the phenomenon also takes place whenever a new film or a television series starring Adam Cheng is released.



  • September 2000: Divine Retribution was aired on ATV. Due to the bursting of the dot-com bubble earlier that year, the Hang Seng Index dropped by an accumulated 1,715 points, leading to falls in other stock markets around the world.[2]
  • March 2004: Blade Heart premiered in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng Index fell by 550 points over three days due to high oil prices and instability in the Middle East.[2]
  • October 2004: The Conqueror's Story premiered in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng Index fell by 198 points on the day the first episode of the drama was aired.[2]
  • March 2005: The Prince's Shadow was broadcast. On 14 March, the Hang Seng dropped by 100 points before noon but rose back by 90 points by the end of the day.[6]
  • July 2007: Return Home was broadcast. The Hang Seng Index fell by 1,165 points.[7]
  • 30 March 2009: The King of Snooker premiered in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng Index fell by 663.17 points.[2]


  • May 21, 2012: Master of Play made its debut on TVB. The Hang Seng Index fell by 10%.[8]
  • April 4, 2013: Saving General Yang was released in Beijing. The Hang Seng Index fell by 610 points on the following day of the premiere.[9]


There were a few times when the Ting Hai effect did not occur. In April 2006, when Bar Bender was aired on TVB, there was a sudden rise in the Hang Seng index by 258 points.[2] The Index also rose when the following television series were broadcast: The Conqueror's Story, Chor Lau-heung, The Driving Power.[5]


The Ting Hai effect has led to Adam Cheng attracting much attention from the press. Whenever a new film or television series starring Cheng is about to be broadcast, some stockbrokers and investors in Hong Kong anticipate a drop in the market.

While some investors[who?] have argued that the effect is no more than a series of coincidences and amounts to nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy, the phenomenon is regarded by some[who?] as more than coincidental. The French bank Crédit Lyonnais wrote a report on it.[10]

The phenomenon created a career trough for Cheng in Hong Kong during the 1990s as both TVB and ATV avoided hiring Cheng to act in their dramas because they did not want to bear the responsibility for a stock market crash[citation needed].


  1. ^ 丁蟹效應累恆指瀉663點. Ming Pao (in Chinese). 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Big5.Chinanews.com. "Big5.Chinanews.com." 何謂「丁蟹效應」. Retrieved on 2009-08-11.
  3. ^ Yesasia.com. "Yesasia.com." The Greed of Man summary in English. Retrieved on 2009-08-11.
  4. ^ Sina.com. "Sina.com." 香港股市現「丁蟹效應」 鄭少秋喊冤:股民又賴我. Retrieved on 2009-08-11.
  5. ^ a b c Sina.com. "Sina.com." 《榮歸》「鄭少秋效應」令全國股民開運?. Retrieved on 2009-08-26.
  6. ^ Ent.people.com.cn. "Ent.people.com.cn." 鄭少秋顛覆以往形象做小人物 搞笑《御用閒人》. Retrieved on 2009-08-26.
  7. ^ Ent.big5.enorth.com. "Ent.big5.enorth.com." 鄭少秋新劇播出 香港股市又現『丁蟹效應』. Retrieved on 2009-08-26.
  8. ^ "'Ting Hai' jitters befall investors". Retrieved Dec 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ 恒指瀉610點收21726四個月低,成交772億. Hong Kong Economic Times (in Chinese). 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  10. ^ Wong, Jill (2004-04-01). "Hong Kong stocks to hit bottom April 1-7 on 'Adam Cheng effect' - CLSA". Quamnet. 

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