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China strengthens crackdown on celebrity and fan culture

Chinese regulators have stepped up their crackdown on celebrities and their fan groups, citing that online crowds create “chaos” and promote “luxury pleasures”.

China’s Cyberspace Administration on Tuesday issued a new set of rules to regulate celebrities, advertisements and their fan groups, as part of efforts to reform social values. Association of President Xi Jinping in the country.

The CAC praised the “supreme power of [internet] traffic” and “unusual aesthetics” because of the “mainstream values” that are degrading in Chinese society.

Regulations that could ban fan-run pages with tens of millions of followers have spread online and clash with Beijing’s campaign to reshape youth culture by promoting equality and common prosperity”.

Fan groups must now be managed by professional celebrities. The number of times celebrities and their related works or products may appear on the websites will also be limited.

The new rules are designed to solve the problems raised by the “fandom” and hit millions of die-hard followers of Asian celebrities who gather in armies of online fans.

Experts believe that the Chinese government is concerned about the capacity of fan groups to organize and act effectively socially.

Online platforms are further restricted from promoting celebrities that are entangled in illegal and unethical practices, effectively preventing the return of celebrities after being tarnished by the public. humiliation.

Beijing’s campaign to coordinate more control over the country’s cultural industries has grown since Xi’s goal of “common prosperity” was made clear in August. It has targeted targeted some prominent stars, such as former ambassador Prada Zheng Shuang, and also forced Korean entertainment companies to pivot away from China, formerly their core growth market.

The enforcement of the measures will be difficult, even in China, according to analysts. Local entertainment companies have experience navigating the difficult landscape of rapidly changing regulations and censorship.

However, the CAC has directed authorities to “conduct real-time surveillance” on celebrity accounts.

The regulator also instructed local affiliates to create a watch list of celebrities who promote undesirable values, echoing Beijing’s call to rein in what they view. is a poor depiction of men in popular culture.

The CAC’s rules combine with efforts by China’s film regulators to better control what’s seen in cinemas.

In early November, the China Film Administration issued a new set of guidelines aimed at improving the quality of domestically produced films, increasing audiences, and focusing content on topics including Chinese history, history of socialism and the history of China’s reform and opening up. .

Such themes of nationalist triumph were greatly loved by local audiences. Battle at Changjin Lake, which recounts China’s experience in the Korean War, broke China’s box office records this year.

Additional reporting by Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong and Maiqi Ding in Beijing

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