Anyone looking for the actress and singer Zhao Wei on the Chinese Internet these days will find nothing. No videos, no blog posts, not even their participation in their greatest film successes can still be discovered on the streaming services. Other stars deleted shared photos.
Actually, Zhao Wei is a superstar. It is considered extremely popular and is at least as well known in China as Julia Roberts or Jennifer Lawrence in this country. She recently had 86 million followers on the online platform Weibo. In 2015, she was the richest actress in the world, according to Forbes. Now her life and work seem to have been erased.
The Chinese authorities have taken action against stars in the past. However, the dimension is new. The reason why it hit Zhao in particular is not yet known. State media only write that the actress is “involved in scandals”. In addition to the 45-year-old, another actress has been accused of tax evasion.
Fan culture as a danger for young people
Both seem to have got themselves caught up in a campaign by the Communist Party to teach the country’s artists new morals and more love for the party. Even with the godlike admiration by their fans, it is over, according to Beijing’s will. In the future, guidelines will regulate what fan clubs are still allowed to do when dealing with celebrities. For the Communist Party, fan culture is a danger to young people. There was a lack of “correct values” and “ideological security”. The entire industry suffers from vulgarity, the men are “effeminate”.
The entertainment industry in China is huge business. Fan clubs attract followers who are supposed to be close to their role models. Especially for younger people, the stars are caregivers. Because of them, they spend hours online every day. Companies pay millions to gain a familiar face as a brand ambassador.
There are always inglorious moments. At a celebrity show in May, fans were able to support their stars by buying milk from a sponsor. Some bought them in bulk and then just threw them away. The responsible video platform was remorseful after the digital disappearance of Zhao. In the future one will draw clearer lines to “unhealthy tendencies”. All of the platform’s celebrity formats, which are otherwise so popular in China, have been stopped. Other providers have also announced that they will be revising their programs in accordance with the new rules.
State time limit for online games
The Communist Party has recently interfered more and more in all areas of life. China’s head of state and party has announced that it will step up action against inequality in the country. With stricter guidelines, the winners of the new prosperity are to be made responsible. Companies should once again serve the common good, not profits.
So it hit the game industry this week, where Beijing has long been educating people. Since Wednesday, minors are no longer allowed to play online during the week, and no more than three hours are allowed on Fridays and weekends.