China’s celebrity war: scandal-stricken stars seen as ‘social tumors’ that must be removed
China will wage war on celebrity scandals it sees as “social tumors” as part of a “profound revolution” in business, finance and culture, according to state media.
Billionaire actress Zhao Wei was taken off the internet last week.
She is the latest star to find herself in the crosshairs of the Communists, with actress Zheng Shuang fined $ 46 million for tax evasion on Friday.
A list of “celebrities who misbehave” allegedly blacklisted by Beijing was posted on social media last week.
Zhao, 45, and Zheng, 30, were both on the list, along with Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu, who was arrested on suspicion of rape this month.
“From the economic realm, from the financial sector to the cultural circle and the political realm, a profound transformation, or a profound revolution, is underway,” wrote nationalist blogger Li Guangman.
Actresses Zheng Shuang (left) and Zhao Wei. Billionaire actress Zhao Wei was taken off the internet last week. She is the latest star to find herself in the crosshairs of the Communists, with actress Zheng Shuang fined $ 46 million for tax evasion on Friday.
A list of “misbehaving celebrities” allegedly on the Communist Party’s blacklist was posted on social media last week. Zhao and Zheng were both on the list, along with Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu (pictured), who was arrested on suspicion of rape this month.
“This is a political transformation … return to the original mission of the Chinese Communist Party, return to popular centralism and return to the essence of socialism.”
Li’s article, which called celebrity scandal victims “social tumors,” was picked up by People’s Daily, the state-run Xinhua news agency, the PLA Daily, the China Youth Daily, the China News Service and China Central Television.
The rare move orchestrated by all major propaganda outlets comes as Beijing attempts to quell Western influence from celebrities and tech giants.
The tech sector now accounts for nearly a third of China’s economy – but since the start of the year, Beijing has sanctioned big tech and its tycoons,
The government’s action has seen some of the biggest companies lose $ 1.2 trillion in value in just six months.
Jack Ma, China’s response to Jeff Bezos, was gone for three months and his Alibaba businesses were forcibly restructured; DiDi – China’s Uber – has been pulled from app stores; and game developer Tencent has been accused of poisoning children with “spiritual opium”.
This week, children were banned from playing online games for more than three hours a week, a further blow to the colossal video game companies that dominate China’s tech sector.
On Monday, the Communist Party’s highest disciplinary committee heard evidence that capitalism seeks to “manipulate” young people, “to plunder economic benefits and even to influence the thoughts and cultures of society.”
Jiang Yu, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the committee, “If capitalism were to be allowed to develop without cultural control, art and culture would lose ground. function of serving the people and serving socialism and the Chinese nation will lose its spiritual focus.
Jack Ma disappeared for three months and was the subject of investigations that wiped out more than $ 100 billion in the value of his empire after criticizing China’s financial sector
Beijing’s radical change – poised even to wipe billions from its own economy – raised fears of yet another cultural revolution, a decade of political turmoil from 1966 to 1976 under Mao Zedong.
The tyrant has launched a vicious campaign to cement his power, purging any capitalist or “bourgeois” element from the party, schools, factories and government institutions.
China claims to fight wealth inequality and big tech abuse of workers and data, but observers believe Xi has other motives
It is not known exactly how many people were killed during the purge, with estimates ranging from 400,000 to 20 million.
Cai Xia, a former Central Party School teacher and now fierce critic of President Xi, told Radio Free Asia that she was attending a 1960s rehearsal.
“The party is certain to launch a political movement when it is in crisis,” she said.
Wang Dan, a former student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy movement, said the Communist Party wanted “to transform people in a touching way and lead a cultural revolution.”
But Wang wondered if this was possible in the 21st century, writing, “In today’s China, how many people really admire and follow Xi Jinping?
In addition to its crackdown on the tech world and celebrities, Beijing has banned private lessons and ordered public schools to improve.
On Wednesday, the government pledged to stabilize house prices and make housing affordable for young people.
These policies are part of Xi’s “common prosperity” goal through which a more socialist country can be achieved.
In his widely published nationalist column this week, blogger Li wrote: “This transformation will sweep away all the dust. The capital market will not be the heaven where capitalists get rich overnight, the cultural market will not be the heaven for sissy celebrities, and public opinion will not worship Western cultures.