No ‘sexy’ women: China cracks down on influencers and ex-criminals
China’s top cyberspace watchdog has launched a Lunar New Year internet crackdown to curtail the spread of ‘bad culture’. Content targeted includes ex-criminals showing off their jail experiences and scantily clad women posing in ‘strange’ places, such as farm fields and hotels, according to a recent directive issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China.
The powerful agency, established in 2014 to regulate the internet, explains the crackdown aims to “clean up the online ecology, and create a positive, civilised and healthy climate in public opinion.”
The regulator has vowed to clean up a long list of undesirable phenomena, including the controversial rise of ex-criminals posting about their experience in prison online. Scores of celebrities who won sympathy by sharing their checkered pasts on social media have been accused of ‘misleading’ the public. A live-streamer, earlier jailed for rape, was found selling sanitary pads online and gained over 120,000 followers before his account was shut down this week after major public pressure.
Female celebrities who wear ‘revealing’ clothes while posing in various locations, such as luxury hotels, scenic spots, farmland, and snowscapes, in photos and videos in an attempt to gain followers are also to be targeted.
The directive has also pledged to clamp down on other undesirable phenomena, including the pursuit of money, wealth flaunting, and drinking and overeating. These ‘bad’ behaviours have been condemned by the authorities in the past.
In 2021, Beijing launched wide-ranging regulatory crackdowns on what it deemed problematic material and activity in sectors, such as technology, education, and entertainment, leading to the downfall of a number of celebrities.