Ting Hai effect

Ting Hai effect
Traditional Chinese丁蟹效應

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] The Ting family's demise involves Ting Hai throwing his four adult sons off the stock exchange building before jumping after them, and the gruesome scene came to be seen as a curse on the stock market that recurs whenever a television series starring Adam Cheng is aired.[4]

The Ting Hai effect, namely the uncanny effect Adam Cheng has on the stock market, can be traced even before Greed of Man and back to 1973, when Cheng starred in Romance in the Rain, a TVB drama series based on a novel written by Chiung Yao. That year, Hong Kong's stock market fell 91.53%.[5]


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.[8]
  • July 2007: Return Home was broadcast. The Hang Seng Index fell by 1,165 points.[9]
  • 30 March 2009: The King of Snooker premiered in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng Index fell by 663.17 points.[2]


  • 21 May 2012: Master of Play made its debut on TVB. The Hang Seng Index fell by 10%.[10]
  • 4 April 2013: Saving General Yang was released in Beijing. The Hang Seng Index fell by 610 points on the following day of the premiere.[11]
  • 20 April 2015: The Greed of Man was rerun on TVB, followed shortly by a rerun of Divine Retribution on ATV. The Hang Seng Index fell by 558.19 points on the first day of rerun.[12]


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 over the course of the following series' airing cycle: Chor Lau-heung (1995), The Driving Power (2003), and The Conqueror's Story (2004).[7]


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. Cheng himself does not believe that he is the cause of the stock prices falling but has come to terms with the phenomenon.[4]

While some investors have argued that the effect is no more than a series of coincidences and amounts to nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy,[13] the phenomenon is regarded by some[who?] as more than coincidental. The French bank Crédit Lyonnais wrote a report on it.[14]

See also[edit]


  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 Archived 2012-07-07 at Archive.today." 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. ^ a b "Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng says stock market influence is just fiction". South China Morning Post. 30 April 2015.
  5. ^ 秋官「衝擊」股市 早於1973年. Ming Pao (in Chinese). 2015-04-14.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "'Ting Hai' jitters befall investors". Archived from the original on 2013-12-28. Retrieved Dec 28, 2013.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 丁蟹效應震散亞洲 恒指最多跌近700點. Ming Pao (in Chinese). 2015-04-20.
  13. ^ "Superstitious investors jittery as bad omen actor Cheng releases movie". South China Morning Post. 29 March 2013.
  14. ^ Wong, Jill (2004-04-01). "Hong Kong stocks to hit bottom April 1–7 on 'Adam Cheng effect' - CLSA". Quamnet. Archived from the original on October 7, 2007.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)

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