On August 26, many netizens were stunned to find Vicki Zhao Wei’s (趙薇) online presence was mysteriously removed from China’s streaming platforms. Although Zhao Wei is one of the country’s most established artistes, Chinese news outlets have not provided an official reason for banning Zhao Wei, and netizens are left with speculating the reasons for the censorship.
Zhao Wei in a Patriotism Scandal?
Many netizens suspected that Zhao Wei’s downfall was related to Zhang Zhehan’s (张哲瀚) scandal. Since Zhang Zhehan is currently a signed artiste under Zhao Wei’s agency, netizens believe that the actress is bring dragged by the public outrage over Zhang Zhehan taking photos at Japanese war shrines.
Complicating the matter, Zhao Wei’s past controversy is going viral and many netizens are questioning the artiste’s patriotism. In 2001, Zhao Wei was criticized for wearing a dress that share the same patterns as the Japanese military rising sun flag. Many netizens were outraged over Zhao Wei’s ignorance in using a design that brought back wartime trauma of when Japanese troops occupied China. Although Zhao Wei apologized for the error, many netizens were not willing to forgive.
Despite Zhao Wei insisting that she is patriotic to China, netizens pointed out that she reportedly supported Tibet’s independence because she previously had close contact with Dalai Lama. Other netizens accused Zhao Wei of having close ties with American politics after the star took pictures with Hilary Clinton.
Scrutiny Over Husband’s Business
Another speculation over the censorship relates to Zhao Wei’s husband Huang Youlong (黃有龍) and his complicated business. In 2017, Huang Youlong’s company was banned from trading in the stock market for five years after being caught for market manipulation and trying to buy out a listed business with a shell company.
Other rumors suggest that Huang Youlong’s business grew at a rapid pace because he received monetary backing from powerful investors. However, given the controversial business practices, many netizens were suspicious of the legitimacy of the couple’s company.
The Aftermath of the Ban
Given the Chinese government’s swift crackdown, Zhao Wei’s name has been removed from the credits of her notable works, including My Fair Princess <還珠格格>, Romance in the Rain <情深深雨濛濛>、Old House has Joy <老房有喜>、Tiger Mom <虎媽貓爸>、Moment in Peking <京華煙雲> and Painted Skin: The Resurrection 2<畫皮2>.
Adding to Zhao Wei’s woes, it was reported that her upcoming promotional activities are being cancelled and her appearance on the September cover of Elle magazine is now cancelled. Sources in the industry revealed that many commercial sponsors are preparing to make an announcement for her replacement.
Although official reason for the censorship has not been released, Zhao Wei is trending online as netizens continue to follow the development of censorship. However, given the pace of the ban, many suspect that Zhao Wei’s Chinese social media pages will be erased shortly.
Source: World Journal
This article is written by Sammi for JayneStars.com.