Why China Has Kicked Its ‘Kim Kardashian’ Off Social Media

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Influencer and jewelry dealer Wang Hongquanxing, often referred to as “China’s Kim Kardashian,” has been banned from social media in the latest move by the Xi Jinping-led Communist Party to curb extravagant behavior and public displays of wealth. At 30 years old, Wang’s personal profiles are now inaccessible due to a violation of the “self-discipline” policy, as China tightens its grip on user content online.

The decision to ban Wang follows his significant online presence, where he amassed millions of followers by showcasing his opulent lifestyle. This ban comes just two weeks after Chinese social media platforms like Weibo, Douyin, and Xiaohongshu banned dozens of accounts for similar violations.

Wang, who had over 4.4 million followers on Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), is the most recent victim of this crackdown. He rose to fame in 2022 with a viral video in which he begged his mother for money while lying on all fours. His extravagant lifestyle was further highlighted in his posts, where he was often seen adorned with luxurious jade, pink diamonds, and pearls. Wang once bragged in an interview that he never left the house without wearing accessories and clothing worth at least $1.4 million. He also revealed to Phoenix News that he owned seven houses in a $110 million upscale residential compound in Beijing.

State media have condemned this display of wealth as a “toxic influence” on society. Wang’s profiles were banned for promoting such a lifestyle, which goes against the Communist Party’s current campaign. The ban on Wang is part of a broader effort by the Chinese government to control digital expressions and limit the influence of those who flaunt their wealth, promoting what they consider harmful values.

This isn’t the first instance of such a crackdown. “Sister Abalone,” a socialite from Guangdong with 2.3 million followers on Douyin, was also banned. Known for her luxurious lifestyle, she often showcased her Macau mansion and was famous for feasting on expensive dried abalone. Similarly, Bai Gongzi, or “Mr. Bo,” who entertained his followers with his lavish travels and high-end possessions, faced a similar fate. These influencers had all benefited significantly from rich streaming and e-commerce partnerships before their abrupt bans.

China’s internet authority, the Cyberspace Administration of China, has declared its intent to intensify efforts to curb “excessive wealth flaunting.” This follows other high-profile actions, such as the 2021 penalization of internet celebrity Viya, who was fined $204 million for tax evasion. These measures are part of a larger strategy to address the country’s celebrity culture and promote a more controlled and conservative public image.

The government has criticized these displays of wealth, arguing that they cater to vulgar public demands and promote unhealthy values. State media outlet The Paper condemned such behavior, stating it creates a “highly distorted fantasy” and spreads “unhealthy values” through the pursuit of wealth. Several social media platforms, including Tencent, Douyin, Weibo, and Xiaohongshu, have echoed these sentiments, committing to removing content that flaunts wealth and promotes materialism.

Weibo, for example, announced a crackdown on content that shows off luxurious homes and cars, and deleted over 1,100 pieces of content in a special management effort. Similarly, Douyin reported deleting 11 accounts and 4,701 messages between May 1 and May 7, targeting content that promotes excessive wealth and discrimination against other social groups. Xiaohongshu also removed 4,273 posts and 383 accounts for violating these guidelines.

This latest crackdown comes at a challenging economic time for China, marked by slow growth, high youth unemployment, and a shaky real estate market. The government’s actions reflect a broader attempt to address societal disparities and exert more control over public narratives, led by President Xi Jinping.

Public reaction to these measures has been mixed. Some netizens express disappointment over losing access to content showcasing luxury and opulence, while others support the move, criticizing the negative online atmosphere created by such displays. This divide illustrates the ongoing tension between the desire for digital freedom and the government’s efforts to maintain ideological control over society.

Written by Influencer Editorial Team

Managed By Influencer Team - United Kingdom

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