Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk attends the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai


  • The Sino American Commerce Association distanced itself from the event
  • Gary Kong, the president of the non-profit, said he tried to invite Elon Musk but was "stood up"
  • Attendees were enraged and embarrassed upon realizing that the Musk they met was a fraud

A Chinese businessman in New York City drew flak after he allegedly falsely claimed that Elon Musk would be attending the launch party of his magazine as a guest of honor in order to draw large crowds.

Gary Kong, president of the non-profit corporation Sino American Commerce Association, held a celebration to mark the first publication of his Wall St. Magazine at the James Hotel in Manhattan on April 27.

He claimed in an April 23 press release that the Tesla CEO would be among the personalities who would be gracing the party and described the event as an "Elon Musk launch cover appearance party in Manhattan," South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

More than 120 Chinese attendees joined the event in the hopes of getting a glimpse of the Twitter CEO, local media reported.

They assembled in the lobby at 7:30 p.m. local time, but it wasn't until two hours later that a man who resembled Musk entered the ballroom escorted by bodyguards.

After attendees approached him to shake hands and take photographs, he reportedly unveiled the magazine and presented some awards.

But after the man left, some of the attendees pointed out that he did not actually look or sound like Musk.

The attendees were reportedly enraged and embarrassed upon realizing that the celebrity was a fraud.

Kong told SCMP that he invited the tech billionaire and originally scheduled his party for March 23. But he claimed that he got "stood up" by Musk, so he went for an impersonator.

Although he said that he expected the real Musk to attend, he insisted that he wanted the attention to be focused on the launch of his magazine, not the SpaceX founder.

Kong also said that the invitations never guaranteed a meeting with Musk. The announcement of the fake's arrival said: "We are entertainment, Elon Musk is coming."

The attendees "probably did not understand," Kong said to the news outlet, as some thought the real Musk had arrived and took photos with him.

A Chinese woman aired her frustration in a video posted on social media, saying that she spent over a month in the U.S. "just to meet Musk" but instead met his doppelgänger.

"[This event] has received a lot of attention in China, but it's unexpected that the person who showed up in the end was fake ... it's unacceptable to cheat Chinese people like this, Chinese people deceiving Chinese people is too much," the woman said in the video.

Two days later, a spokesperson for the Sino American Commerce Association downplayed the incident. The organization distanced itself from the event and blamed cultural differences for the confusion.

"All I can say is that this was [a result of] the differences between Chinese and Western cultures," Annie Fu, the founding president of the association, said in a press conference on April 29.

However, it seems that some paid as much as $10,000 just to catch a glimpse of Musk at the event, according to an invoice posted online.

International Business Times could not verify the authenticity of the invoice, but Kong told SCMP that it was a fake one planted out of "jealousy" and that the April 27 event had been free.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk saw the explosion of the space exploration enterprise's huge Starship minutes after launch as another step toward building a version that helps humans explore the galaxy