Chinese regulators have intensified a crackdown on celebrities and their fans on the grounds that online hordes are creating “chaos” and promoting “excessive pleasure.”
China’s Cyber Space Administration on Tuesday released a set of rules to regulate celebrities, as well as their ads and fan groups, as part of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to reform social values in the country.
The CAC has “the supremacy of [internet] traffic ”and“ abnormal aesthetics ”for deteriorating“ mainstream values ”in Chinese society.
The rules could ban fan-run pages with tens of millions of followers circulating online and clash with Beijing’s campaign to reform youth culture by promoting equality and “common prosperity.”
Fan groups now need to be managed by professional glamor agents. The number of times celebrities and their related works or products may appear on web pages will also be limited.
The new rules are designed to tackle the problems posed by “fandom”, the millions of devoted followers of Asian celebrities who gather online in support armies.
Experts say Chinese authorities are concerned about the support groups’ capacity for organization and social action.
Online platforms are further restricted to promote celebrities who are caught up in illegal and unethical behavior, which in fact prevents the return of celebrities after public disgrace.
Beijing’s campaign to orchestrate greater control over the country’s cultural industries has intensified since Xi’s pursuit of “common prosperity” was articulated in August. It has already targeted several prominent stars, such as former Prada ambassador Zheng Shuang, and has also forced South Korean entertainment companies to turn away from China, formerly their core growth market.
Applying the measures will be difficult, even in China, according to analysts. Local entertainment companies have experience navigating the thorny landscape of rapidly changing regulations and censorship.
Yet the CAC instructed the authorities to “perform real-time monitoring” on celebrity accounts.
The regulator also instructed local branches to create a watch list documenting celebrities who promote undesirable values, reflecting calls from Beijing to hold on to what it considers to be female depictions of men in popular culture.
The CAC’s rules are in line with efforts by China’s film regulators to take greater control over content seen in movie theaters.
This month, the China Film Administration issued a new set of guidelines to improve the quality of locally produced films, grow their audience and focus their content on topics including Chinese history, the history of socialism and China’s history. reform and opening period.
Such triumphant nationalist themes have become immensely popular among local audiences. The Battle of Lake Changjin, which tells of China’s experience in the Korean War, broke box office records in China this year.
Additional reporting by Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong and Maiqi Ding in Beijing