China Bans Wealthy Influencers from Social Media After Flagging their 'Luxury' Content as Bad Behavior

By Thea Felicity

May 24, 2024 02:44 PM EDT

The photo taken on April 3, 2024 shows instructor Wang Yaxuan using her phone to livestream on TikTok at Mede Education Technology's e-commerce school in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province. Donning hijabs and floor-length abaya gowns over shorts and tank tops, Chinese students at an e-commerce school perform into a smartphone camera as they learn how to sell the clothes to overseas TikTok users.
(Photo : JADE GAOJADE GAO/AFP via Getty Images)

A recent crackdown on "bad behavior" content in China has suspended several super-wealthy social media influencers.

According to Channel News Asia, among those affected were influencers known for sharing extravagant jewelry collections and wealthy socialites showing off lavish lifestyles. These suspensions are part of China's "negative value-oriented" content ban, which aims to discourage behavior deemed excessive or promoting materialism.

Starting on May 15, the Chinese media will promote a more positive and wholesome online environment through this crackdown, leading to the suspension of huge accounts boasting over 4 million followers on Douyin.

Despite these suspensions, some influencers maintain active accounts on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, where they continue sharing content showing off their wealth and lifestyle.

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"Wealthy" Content Banning in China

Besides Douyin, other Chinese platforms like Tencent and Weibo are taking similar steps to remove content that worships wealth. 

Weibo has deleted over 1,110 posts and suspended 27 accounts for such damaging behavior, while Tencent has removed over 6,000 pieces of similar content and addressed 36 illegal accounts. 

This move also aims to protect China's wealthy population, following a VCPost report revealing that gangs are monitoring wealthy individuals on social media for potential kidnapping and ransom schemes.

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