A crackdown on the entertainment industry has begun in China, with some analysts calling it a reversal of the “cultural revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s.
Late last month, an article was posted on China's popular messaging app 'WeChat', indicating what the future holds.
The article was later published in Chinese state media such as People's Daily and Shenhua News Agency. The title of the article was “Everyone can feel that reforms are coming.”
This article states that “China's entertainment industry is rotting. If reforms are not made, not only the entertainment sector but also the fine arts, film and TV sectors will be ruined.
Management of China's national radio and television The guideline was issued on September 2 It calls on artists to refrain from engaging in practices that could have a “bad” effect on young people and which could lead to a “polluted” social environment.
These guidelines support a close look at the work of artists. In addition, emphasis has been placed on promoting political views that are in line with the government's position.
A sign of political tug-of-war
Akiyo Yayita, a correspondent for a Japanese newspaper in Beijing, told VOA Temple Service that the crackdown on the entertainment industry was a sign of political tensions between President Xi Jinping and his opponents.
Yaita says Shi wants to create a climate of fear for those who speak out in favor of capitalism and reform of the current system.
Speaking to VOA on the phone, he said President Xi was promoting “blind” patriotism. Their actions are fueling hatred against the rich, envy, jealousy and hatred against celebrities.
According to him, President Xi is creating conditions similar to those of the Cultural Revolution in China.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and current Chinese founder Mao Zedong began a series of measures in the 1960s to further strengthen their grip on power. The decade-long political turmoil in China has been dubbed the “Cultural Revolution.”
During this time, millions of artists, thinkers and intellectuals in China were imprisoned or forced to work in the fields.
Crackdown on Chinese artists
The government's alleged crackdown on China's entertainment industry has begun after three major celebrity scandals surfaced.
In January this year, Zheng Hang, the ex-husband and producer of Chinese superstar actor Zheng Shuang, announced on Chinese social media platform Weibo that he was in California. Where he is caring for two children born to two surrogates who were hired for the job.
Later, when the surrogates became pregnant, Zheng Hang and Zheng Shuang allegedly separated, and the actress' husband accused her of relinquishing responsibility for the children.
It should be noted that the services of a woman for the birth of a child are called surrogacy. For this, either the egg and the sperm are inserted into the mother's womb or the surrogate's own egg is used.
The news caused a stir in China, where surrogacy was banned long ago.
According to China's official newspaper Global Times Authorities August 27 fined actress Zheng Shuang 46 million. According to the Shanghai Tax Office, the actress committed tax evasion by signing fake contracts and forging documents of TV drama payments.
On the same day, Xiao Wei, a heavily paid actress in China, lost all her work on the Internet. Videos of the actress on social media and streaming platforms also 'disappeared'.
His fan club was shut down and the movies and TV shows in which Xiao Wei acted also disappeared from the screen.
Xiao receives so much money for advertising campaigns for brands that make acting and luxury products that, according to Forbes magazine, she is called the “Warren Buffett” of China's showbiz industry. Warren Buffett is an American businessman who is one of the richest people in the world.
Xiao was a former kindergarten teacher. He is thought to be close to Chinese billionaire and Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group. Jack Ma has also been under fire from the Chinese government for some time.
Police arrested Chris Woofan, a 30-year-old Chinese-Canadian actor, on August 16 on charges of sexually assaulting a woman.
The woman alleged that when he was 17 years old, Yifan abused her by drinking drugs.
According to CNN and the BBC, Wu Yifan has denied the allegations.
“Communist Party is scared”
Christine Tetlu, a senior fellow at the Berlin-based German Council on Foreign Relations' Asia program, says the Chinese Communist Party fears independence.
He says independent human experiences that lead to different understandings of life are seen by the CCP as a challenge to its power.
Speaking to VOA Temples via email, Tetlow said the entertainment sector challenges the Communist Party's control over culture or ideology, so those who become famous are seen as a threat.
Tetlu says the Chinese Communist Party does not tolerate any story that differs from the government's statement on China. Therefore, any alternative sound is muted.
Steps not unexpected!
According to some experts, China's crackdown on the entertainment industry is not unexpected for them.
Jonathan Sullivan, director of the China program at the University of Nottingham's Asia Research Institute, says China's entertainment industry had accumulated so much that it needed to be cleaned up, so the demand for reform did not come suddenly.
He said that steps have been taken in this regard in the past but it has not changed the situation much. Because of this, more decisive steps are being taken.
He said that the steps being taken this time are being felt more because under the policy of President Xi, crackdown is being carried out at the policy level in every sector of the country.
According to Sullivan, because of the popularity of artists, it would not be appropriate to view actions against them in the context of the Cultural Revolution. In fact, celebrities have a direct impact on society. Therefore, political and social responsibilities have been assigned to them.
He said the Chinese government's recent campaign was aimed at influencing artists to fulfill their social and political responsibilities to the government. So it's no surprise.
Sullivan says the culture of celebrities and their fan clubs is spreading rapidly in China, and the Communist Party sees it as a threat to its influence in public circles. So when a person gets more attention from people, he comes to their target.
Crackdown against fan clubs
Fan clubs have become very common in China over the past two decades. With the development of the country's economy, there have also been superstars in the fields of acting and singing, whose fan base is very wide.
These celebrities have a profound effect on their fans. That's why big companies turn to them to promote their products.
Beijing-based data provider Andita released a report in 2020 stating that China has an annual turnover of 20 20 billion in services for celebrities such as advertising and product promotion. ۔
“Fan clubs are generally of interest to a large number of women born in major cities after 1995,” the report said. More than half of them are students.
On fan clubs by the Chinese Cyber Administration There has been a lot of criticism. He alleges that the fan club is promoting wasteful spending among young people, voting in celebrity rankings and harassing young people online.
In May this year, the government launched a regular campaign against such online fan clubs. China's leading social media companies, such as Saina Weibo, Tik Tak and Tencent, have since announced their support for the campaign to run fan clubs in line with government guidelines.
China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported on August 2 that 1.5 million malicious posts had been deleted over a two-month period and 4,000 suspicious accounts had been shut down. In addition, 4,000 fan clubs that created “problems” have been eliminated.
Speaking to VOA on condition of anonymity, a resident of Chengdu, China, said, “We are asking our friends who is the first branch of the Communist Party.”
“It's a very clear signal to be submissive,” he said. Be careful Don't bother because something like this will not be tolerated at all.
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