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Luxury Influencers Vanish from Chinese Social Media Amid Wealth Crackdown

In a significant move to curb displays of ostentatious wealth, Chinese social media platforms have blocked numerous influencers known for showcasing their lavish lifestyles. This action is part of the “Clear and Bright” campaign launched by China’s internet watchdog in April, aimed at removing undesirable content from social media.

#### Influencers Affected by the Crackdown

Several prominent influencers have found their accounts inaccessible. Wang Hongquan, a content creator with over four million followers, had his Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) account blocked. Known for flaunting designer outfits, first-class flights, and a jade jewelry collection, Wang’s account now displays an error message citing violations of Douyin’s community guidelines.

“Sister Abalone,” another influencer famous for her videos of an elaborately decorated mansion and extravagant jewelry, also had her content removed from platforms like Bilibili. Similarly, “Young Master Bo,” who was known for test-driving luxury cars and buying rare Hermes Birkin bags, saw his Douyin account disappear due to “violations of relevant laws and regulations.”

#### The “Clear and Bright” Campaign

The “Clear and Bright” campaign aims to eliminate content that promotes excessive wealth and extravagant lifestyles. According to Chinese state media, this initiative targets influencers who create ostentatious personas and cater to what authorities describe as “vulgar needs.”

#### Douyin’s Response

Douyin has responded by not only blocking these accounts but also announcing a crackdown on fake “hot events.” These include videos of staged incidents such as medical crises and domestic disputes designed to attract more views. The platform stated, “Douyin guides creators to record true, good lives,” emphasizing a push for more authentic content.

#### Background and Broader Context

This crackdown is part of a broader effort by China’s Communist government to regulate social media content and reduce economic inequality. President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” initiative has been a driving force behind these actions. In recent years, authorities have frequently criticized “money worship” and “vulgar” content, imposing massive fines on influencers for various violations. Notably, Viya, known as the “queen of livestreaming,” was fined $204 million for tax evasion in 2021.

#### Conclusion

The removal of luxury influencers from Chinese social media marks a significant step in the government’s efforts to control the portrayal of wealth and luxury online. By targeting content that showcases extravagant lifestyles, the “Clear and Bright” campaign aims to promote a more balanced and authentic representation of life in China. As the crackdown continues, the future of influencer culture in China is likely to shift towards more modest and genuine content.