Taipei: Winning the Tokyo Olympics men’s doubles gold medalists has bolstered Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin’s status in Taipei, as they have been treated like star athletes and no matter where they go and what they do, they constantly become the center of attention.
And of course, businesses were quickly seeking Lee/Wang to be influencers and endorsers of their products. And that’s when Lee/Wang started having some problems.
Both of them accepted an endorsement from EasyCard Corporation and were featured on the EasyCard immediately coming back from Tokyo Olympics. The EasyCard is a contactless smartcard system, which was previously named the “Taipei Smart Card Corporation”, for payment on the Taipei Metro (also known as “Taipei MRT”, or “Taipei Rapid Transit System”), buses, and other public transport services in Taipei.
However, that has sparked a public outcry as both Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin are employees of a state-owned firm – Land Bank of Taiwan, and under Taiwan’s regulations, all government employees are barred from appearing in commercials. Since Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) is the supervising authority of the Land Bank of Taiwan, both Lee/Wang could have potentially violated Taiwan’s “Civil Servants Service Law”, which prohibited civil servants from making any commercial endorsement.
Some Taiwanese media reported that senior executives of the Land Bank of Taiwan actually weren’t aware of the endorsement until they saw the news from the “newspaper”.
“We never said that we would leave the team (Land Bank of Taiwan). Thank you very much for everything the team has done for us. We are still discussing this with the team. I hope the Ministry of Civil Service and the government can help us with this issue,” said Wang Chi-Lin.
“We are together. Of course, we are trying to resolve this with our team,” said Lee Yang to Taiwanese media.