The “curse” of Jackie Chan may have struck again, after the demise of well-known gym chain California Fitness, which once used Chan as a brand ambassador.

The parent company of the fitness centre chain is now facing a winding up order sought by one of its former board members and its branches have suspended operations. It may also face legal action from landlords for unpaid rent.

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California Fitness showcasing Jackie Chan on a billboard. Photo: maveric2003 via flickr.

Chan was appointed brand ambassador between 2005 and 2012. In that time, four California Fitness branches were named “California Fitness – Jackie Chan Sport Clubs in Asia.”

The gym chain announced that its branches would temporarily suspend operation until further notice after closing on Monday due to a freeze on its operating capital.

See also: Customers voice their frustration as all California Fitness gyms close doors

jackie chan bawang
BaWang shampoo.

Jackie Chan has been associated with a number of brands which fell upon bad luck, including BaWang, a herbal shampoo, which successfully sued Next Magazine for HK$3m in compensation after the publication claimed that its product contained a carcinogen.

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Others include Fen Huang Cola, which ultimately closed in 2001 after falling sales.

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Fen Huang cola. Photo:

The Volkswagen Caddy also suffered from poor sales despite an action-packed ad campaign with the star.

Ai-duo VCD electronics was plagued by lawsuits before its demise and its boss was sent to jail.

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Ai-duo VCD electronics. Photo:

In 2011, Beijing authorities found golden staph bacteria in products from food company Synear, which used Chan to endorse its frozen dumplings.

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Synear Dumplings. Photo:

The news led to shops pulling the product from shelves and caused a sharp fall in sales.

chantal yuen

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.