Sunday, October 24, 2021

CCP purges Chinese celebrities and influencers in crackdown on entertainment industry

Xi Jinping has taken control of China’s US$359 billion (AU$496 billion) entertainment industry, seeking to align all cultural influences in China with Communist Party dogma through an “eight-point plan”. Which directs broadcasters to acceptable role models in entertainment.

The plan issued by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) does not tolerate opposition to government principles or alternative sources of social influence. It bans any celebrity with ‘wrong politics’, does not reflect ‘correct beauty standards’, ‘pretends money’, ‘acts in a vulgar manner,’ or ‘disrespects public order and morals’ speaks or behaves against.’

“Xi Jinping is forcing China to look increasingly inward at a time of economic turmoil and the need to resolve jealousy,” lead filmmaker Chris Fenton tells The Epoch Times. “Wealth inequality is a big driver,” he said, “in addition, the CCP seeks to rule in the socially progressive and Western influence of celebrity culture.”

Fenton, whose film credits include blockbusters like 47 Ronin, Looper and Ironman 3, has written a book on the capture of corporate America titled Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA and American Business.

Meanwhile, the CCP has already begun purges prominent personalities and online influencers, which they have deemed unacceptable.

Popular Chinese actress Zheng Shuang has been fined US$46 million (AU$63.4 million) for “tax evasion”, which is banned from social media and appears on television.

Another famous actress, Vicki Zhao has removed all movies and television programs from the Chinese streaming platform. Meanwhile, actor Zhang Zhehan was blacklisted after photos surfaced of him attending a wedding at Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honors those killed in Japan’s war, despite the actor publishing a stern apology. Is.

China’s music industry has also been shaken with the ban on holy male fanatics.

Boys bands such as TFBoys, Wayv, INTO1, Uniq, Super Junior-M, and Exo-M are removed from the public eye by the CCP as ‘feminine idols’ unless they radically change their image. do not change from This is despite some people actively working to promote the CCP. For example, in 2015, TFBoys were featured in a video by CCP’s ‘Young Pioneers’, and as recently as 2020, they were chosen as brand ambassadors for China’s Mars mission.

Of greater concern to the industry in China is how the new rules apply to promotions and content. For example, all rankings of celebrities are now banned, as are any popularity polls or celebrity fan clubs. In addition, major talent shows such as ‘Idol Producer’, ‘Youth With You’, and ‘Produce 101 China’ are being canceled at the height of their audiences, with millions tuning in from around the world.

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Hollywood has long played a double game to reach Chinese consumers; However, the latest action could eventually lead to a deadlock, argues Fenton.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the risk/reward calculation for China is approaching a critical point,” Fenton tells The Epoch Times, adding that “I hope Hollywood stops wandering to the CCP.”

He argues that, given the financial blow, withdrawing from China could bring positive change to Hollywood.

“Economic uncertainty combined with consumer and political pressure from the West could influence Hollywood to return to making films free of censorship and forced narratives,” Fenton said. “If so, other markets around the world will be rewarding this kind of content handsomely.”

Another group of influencers are online streamers and influencers from China.

China’s e-commerce live-stream market has reportedly grown by 121 percent in 2020-21, and is now worth an estimated $149 billion and is driven by the country’s growing Gen-Z and Millennial-aged consumers . Top influencers can broadcast to millions of fans by selling products through Alibaba’s Taobao Live, Baidu and JD.com.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has now outlined a new ‘industry standard’ to regulate these advertisers, including how streamers should dress, speak and behave.

However, most professional streamers in China are known IRL (in real life) streamers. There are a large number of women under the age of 26, and sit in front of the camera to sing, dance and chat about life and attract millions of male followers.

They receive virtual ‘gifts’ from fans, some earning up to US$50,000 (AU$69,000) per month. Top streamers are usually contracted with large management agencies that provide studios, grooming, training and coaching.

There are also concerns that the new government regulations could pose a threat to the industry, as the CCP seeks to further boost marriage rates and reduce online behavior that is far from the Communist Party’s norm.

It follows a high-profile CCP crackdown on tech entrepreneurs such as Alibaba founder Jack Ma, with other Chinese billionaires engaging in major acts of philanthropy, which the CCP calls ‘general prosperity’.

And Fenton argues that the action isn’t over yet, noting that the CCP is now targeting anyone who is high-profile or wealthy.

“Anyone who is not aligned with the party’s agenda could be next, especially if they are high profile and wealthy,” he said.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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