On August 26, China's video streaming behemoths and social media platforms removed all Zhao Wei-related content in response to the NRTA order.
On August 26, Zhao Wei, a billionaire Chinese actor's social media accounts, such as Weibo, were deactivated. Zhao, also known as Vicky Zhao, had fame in the 1990s for her leading role in My Fair Princess, a historical drama. Movie and television credits had taken her name off. Major streaming platforms such as Tencent Video and iQiyi have removed all the content involving her in the film, television, and chat shows, report the Hollywood Reporter. The report also said Zhao was the most recent target of China's ongoing campaign on the entertainment industry and celebrity fan culture excesses.
The Global Times cited by the Hollywood Reporter said no official justification was provided for removing Zhao's name from social media outlets. Newsweek reports that her close relationship with Chinese businessman Jack Ma could potentially be a factor in her being targeted. In 2014, Zhao and her husband Huang became the second-largest shareholders in Ma's Alibaba Pictures, and two years later, they made the Hurun rich list.
Fortune reports that Zhao's abrupt cancellation resulted from an order from the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), the government-run entertainment regulator. Zhao has been canceled without explanation from Beijing. The NRTA didn't even inform the streaming firms why Zhao was being removed.
"The celebrity culture in China has a very intimate relationship with the business community," says Kenny Ng, an associate professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University's Academy of Film. "There is often a lot of under-the-table dealings going on between celebrities, businesses, and government officials," reports Fortune.