In the headline news on its official website for August 31, 2021, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stated that the entertainment industry must not harm the state’s interest. The CCDI article reported on its interview with the State Council Development Research Center. The CCDI is the CCP’s disciplinary watchdog.
The CCP crackdown on the entertainment industry echoes its recent broader clampdown on the private sector. Increasingly Xi Jinping has emphasized the CCP’s dominant role in every aspect of China’s economy and society. The CCP has targeted high-tech, education, and other businesses using fines and restrictions. Private capital has been blamed for contributing to the risks of data breaches, education inequality, the disintegration of the Chinese culture, threatening social stability, harming state security, among other deep seated concerns.
According to the State Council Information Office in 2019, the value-added of China’s entertainment industry reached 4,436.3 billion yuan, accounting for 4.5 percent of China’s GDP.
The CCDI article states that money has been driving the growth and the chaos in the entertainment industry. Investment, entertainment stars, and fans’ consumption culture are part of one chain all led by money. In this chain, investment is the dominant force. It promotes entertainment stars to induce and influence fans’ consumption habits (particularly young people), ultimately eroding the socialist ideology.
“Entertainment is by no means mere singing, dancing, and playing music, but an important battlefield for ideological and cultural work. It is an important part of the superstructure [a Marxist term referring to culture, political power, and the state], and it is critical to Party [CCP] work. If capital is allowed to expand unfettered, entertainment will fail its role of serving the people and socialism, and it will disintegrate the spiritual homeland of the Chinese nation.”
“There are limits to capital expansion. The CCP dominant system has unique advantages so it can fully utilize capital in entertainment while effectively restricting disorderly expansion in the industry. The bottom line is that it cannot interfere with the development direction of socialism with Chinese characteristics; it cannot manipulate the national economy and the people’s livelihood; it cannot harm state interests; and it cannot corrupt Party members and leading cadres, let alone seek improper political gains.”
Source: The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Chinese Communist Party, August 31, 2021