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Crackdowns on Comic Conventions Highlight China’s Suppression of Japanese and Western Cultural Influence

Several comic conventions and video game events in China have recently been canceled, including the Qingdao Comic Con, the Zibo comic show, the Qingdao AS New Year’s Party, and miYoSummer 3. The cancellations appear to be due to government restrictions and censorship targeting Japanese and Western cultural influences.

The Qingdao Comic Con scheduled for mid-February was canceled just weeks before the convention’s scheduled start. The cancellation followed online backlash in China criticizing the event for promoting Japanese culture and anime. The organizer cited “safeguarding visitor safety” as the reason for cancellation. The Qingdao AS New Year’s Party, scheduled for early February, faced similar pressure after recent public fomentation over comic shows, leading authorities and organizers to indefinitely postpone the event. Staff from the Zibo comic show said authorities ordered a stop to Shandong province’s animation exhibitions during the Chinese Spring Festival. HoYoverse, scheduled for summer 2024, also abruptly canceled its popular miYoSummer video game show in January.

Interviewees attribute the cancellations to government crackdowns reinforcing nationalistic boycotts of Japanese culture in particular. Some pointed out an incident in 2022 involving a Nanjing temple honoring Japanese war criminals which sparked widespread anti-Japanese sentiment and comic show cancellations last summer. Rigid over-enforcement is also exacerbated by the CCP’s culture encouraging government orders cascading down to the grassroots level.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 24, 2024