Epoch Times reported that two professors at the University of Richmond, Dan Chen and Gengsong Gao, published an article to expose the CCP’s tactic in sending its official messages via celebrities, including some Taiwanese entertainment stars.
Their study found that 85 percent of the top 218 celebrities in China re-posted the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) official messages on their social media account at least once over a six-month period in the second half of 2021.
On August 2, the day when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan, the CCP’s mouthpiece CCTV sent out a post on Weibo, a Chinese-owned Twitter-like social media platform, with the message “There is only one China in the World” statement. Within hours, Chinese celebrities re-posted this message on their extensive networks of followers, including Xie Na (谢娜), a 41-year-old popular TV host and actress who posted it for her 128 million followers on Weibo, and Jackson Yee (易烊千玺), a 22-year-old singer, dancer and actor ranked the No.1 celebrity in Forbes’ 2021 Chinese Celebrity List. He posted it for Taiwan celebrities conducting business in mainland China, such as Chen Qiaoen (陈乔恩) and Wu Qilong (吴奇隆), and also re-tweeted this message, about a day later.
One celebrity news outlet listed more than 20 Taiwan celebrities who reposted the “Only one China in the World and he praised them for “fulfilling their responsibility to voice political support.” It also listed 11 Taiwan celebrities who did not retweet the message and suggested that fans will judge them accordingly.
Fans and media in China harassed and criticized those Taiwan celebrities who did not express that they lined up with the CCP’s position, including a well-known Taiwan singer Hebe Tien (田馥甄) who has 13 million followers on Weibo.
In addition to using the fans to “teach” the celebrities, the CCP can also directly punish the celebrities. In 2014, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued a notice to require all broadcasting platforms to block “tainted artists” – celebrities who engage in illegal behavior or actions that are illegal, indecent, or politically incorrect.
This practice forced many celebrities to endorse the official lines to make themselves safe. Also, the state-endorsed celebrities have better opportunities to perform on state televisions or in state-sponsored films and TV shows.
Source: Epoch Times, October 1, 2022