News

Xiaxue v Gushcloud

INFLATING EARNINGS

Xiaxue's claims: Gushcloud's average revenue per month for 2012 was $33,000, but they reported it as $170,000 to local media.

Gushcloud's response: An "honest mistake" made by one of their employees who spoke to the media about the company's earnings when Gushcloud's CEO and co-founder Vincent Ha was in the US on a work trip, and it was "mistakenly construed" to be $170,000 monthly.

Mr Ha wrote: "There was never an intention to 'inflate' our earnings or to deceive and mislead anyone. Think about it logically. There is no reason to attract needless attention to the financials of the company and to pay higher taxes on income the company never even earned.

"I am also aware that any plan to make ourselves seem bigger than we actually are would go out the window once our accounts are filed with ACRA."

FORCING THEIR BLOGGERS TO MASK ADS

Xiaxue's claims: Gushcloud gets its influencers to mask paid advertorials as reviews

Gushcloud's response: Gushcloud stands by its comments that "blogs and posts should not read like advertisements" as "advertisements are not fun to read and are not the most effective".

Although it gives its influencers "content guidelines", it generally lets them write in their own style. It also does not dictate the disclosure requirements to their influencers because the law does not require it in Singapore.

INFLATING INFLUENCERS' BLOG PAGE VIEWS

Xiaxue's claims: Xiaxue got her programmer friend to track Gushcloud's influencers' blog page views and found out that they pumped up their blog stats by up to five times.

Gushcloud's response: Gushcloud gets the numbers based on Google Analytics which their influencers give them access to. Mr Ha wrote: "The numbers are rounded to the 10,000s or 5,000s for easy reference and we always state that it is an approximate figure or we provide a range."

He added: "The tracking link Wendy put on our influencer's blog does not show the accurate numbers. There are many technical reasons for this. But between the influencer's own Google Analytics and (Wendy's) tracking link (which uses an aspect of Google Analytics), we defer to the numbers from Google."

BUYING FAKE YOUTUBE LIKES AND SUBSCRIBERS

Xiaxue's claims: Xiaxue admits that there is "no concrete way to prove someone bought fake YouTube views or fake YouTube subscribers", so she asked her friend to track Gushcloud influencer Yan Kay Kay's YouTube views, likes and subscribers every day at 11am for months, and found anomalies in the numbers.

Gushcloud's response: Gushcloud's co-founder Althea Lim illustrated in her personal statement to Xiaxue the statistics she got from YouTube, refuting Xiaxue's claims.

Mr Ha supported Ms Lim's post with a chart showing various sources where the YouTube page views came from, and also said that YouTube regularly removes fake video views. Hence, the claim by Xiaxue is false.

IRREGULAR FINANCIAL REPORTS

Xiaxue's claims: Gushcloud is financially unsound and it owed its influencers and third-party vendors more than $350,000 last year.

Gushcloud's response: Mr Ha refuted the allegation, saying in his response: "A younger service-based company usually has a lower cash balance because it is growing and needs to pay out just as fast (if not faster) than it collects money.

"While it does take tremendous effort to maintain cash flow and chase fellow industry players to pay on time, we have managed and we have been delivering on our contractual obligations."