Popular China ex-child star embroiled in video-timing row after suffering brain tumour, shares photos of shaved head, says ‘not to worry’

An actress who was once China’s most famous child star has unwittingly become involved in a controversy following the release of photographs of her shaved head after she had surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Gao Junyu, 22, is known in mainland China as the “point reading machine girl” due to a 2009 commercial she appeared in advertising a study-assistance machine targeting young students, reported Red Star News.

The advertisement was so widely circulated, the English words “so easy” that Gao used in it became a well-used phrase in China.

When videos of Gao with a shaved head went viral on mainland social media earlier this month, the surroundings indicated that they had in fact been captured in September last year.

It then became clear that a Hangzhou-based company to which Gao is signed as an artist released them this month without her consent.

Former child star Gao Junyu has her head shaved as part of her treatment. She has told her fans “not to worry”. Photo: Weibo

The authorities said the company, Huo Ran Kai Lang Science and Technology, who have apologised, will face legal sanction.

“We did not release the videos when the operation took place as we took the surgery risks and possible recurrence of the illness into consideration. So we decided to release them after Gao’s condition stabilised,” the company said.

“We are deeply sorry for making mistakes in the video captions about the date,” it added.

On March 12, Gao’s mother said that her daughter’s social media account was operated by the company because they did not have time to manage it.

“We are outraged and sorry for the botched operation by the company and for the misunderstanding the incident brought to the public,” Goa’s mother said, adding that her daughter is still in rehabilitation.

In recent years, Gao has appeared on several arts programmes for state broadcaster CCTV. She was also an usher at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, leading foreign teams into the stadium during the opening ceremony.

The 12-hour operation Gao underwent was successful and the tumour was found to be benign, according to her mother.

“Before the surgery, Xiaoyu (Gao’s nickname) was feeling positive and believed she would get better. She thanks the public for their care and encouragement and says there is no need to worry,” her mother said in a video.

Gao appeared in hundreds of commercials as a youngster and became one of China’s most famous TV faces. Photo: Weibo

“I use my own experience to warn the public. You should definitely take care of your own body and never burn the midnight oil. Otherwise, your body will take revenge on you one day for what you do today,” Gao said.

The brain tumour news triggered an outpouring of support and blessings for her online.

“Wishing that you successfully beat the tumour. So easy!” one of her followers wrote on Douyin.

“Good to hear that the tumour is benign. Get well soon,” another said.



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