China’s “Operation Qing Lang” to Crack Down on Toxic Fan Culture

The Chinese entertainment circle was marred with scandals and unethical conducts last year. First was Kris Wu (吴亦凡), who is currently awaiting trial after his sexual assault acts against young women and underaged girls were exposed. Then came Zheng Shuang (鄭爽), who was blasted for abandoning her two surrogate children. Although committing a wide range of offenses, Kris and Zheng Shuang’s influence over an extensive array of young fans became utterly concerning, as these young followers blindly continued to dedicate themselves to supporting these celebrities.

Eventually, the Cyberspace Administration of China launched Operation Qing Lang, which aims to crack down on toxic fan culture and “cleaning up” the Chinese Internet. The operation is governed by ten established measures, such as forbidding minors from participating in fan clubs that require monetary spending, canceling online celebrity rankings, requiring or encouraging viewers to purchase website VIP memberships, and forbidding fan wars.

In addition to preventing cyberbullying and keeping extreme fandoms under control, Operation Qing Lang will also forbid the return of banned social media accounts. The government will focus on key social media platforms to restrict use of “zombie fans” (which are similar to “buying likes” on Facebook or Instagram) and to control any “unnatural” fan growth. In doing so, the Operation aims to ensure that fan accounts are authentic, thereby effectively banning fake or “zombie fan” accounts.

It is estimated that the Cyberspace Administration will clean up more than 22 million cases of illegal information, dispose of 1.34 billion accounts, ban more than 7,200 streamers, and remove more than 2,160 applications.

Source: HK01

This article is written by Huynh for

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  1. Very effective and positive approach for the Country… I must say it is very hard handed and efficient.
    But for the industry to get so toxic and unhealthy… would the Gov not be responsible from the beginning? They turned a blind eye for so long… and it just got out of hand. They too have responsibility.

    1. C-entertainment got increasingly toxic and unhealthy with a hands-off approach for years by the government. As expected, mainstream media condemns it as repression with China regulators recent crackdown on excessive behavior by fandoms and stars,

  2. I remember China has been trying to control the toxic fan culture since last year with ZLY and WYB fans fighting. I think besides controlling celebrities’ fans, they also have to control the haters too b/c the haters say a ton of disgusting words online too.

      1. Haters do get sued by celebrities, but do all of them get sued? Usually famous celebrities have thousands of haters who use harsh words against them, but only one or two may be sued. If this movement is really about preventing cyberbullying and online toxicity, then I believe fans, trolls and haters should all be included.

    1. @ay789 great point! I always wondered what happens with false accusers who get tiny fine only when sued but ruin years of hard work and reputation of a celebrity. Sometimes set back is so severe that entertainers need years to bounce back if they succeed. The fines are so minimal that there are even professional digital marketing agencies specialized in designing the smear campaigns that willingly go into it and just pay the minimal fine and the more money on the other side. The problem is bigger than it looks at the eye and should be regulated as well and punishment should be much much stricter. They just do populistic policy to court parents and appear strong but in reality much is left unresolved.

    2. I believe it was the year-long co-ordinated Xiao Zhan smear and hate campaign that finally spurred the ‘qing lang’ campaign.

  3. Wow!! Good for China! This is the first time I am happy with what China is doing!! I hope Korea can do the same with those toxic fans

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