Controversy arises after impersonator imitates Mao Zedong at blockchain forum

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/28 14:38:39

Controversy has arisen after organizers of the Boao Block Chain Forum for Asia, which is being hosted in South China's Hainan Province from Monday to Tuesday, invited an impersonator of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong to deliver a speech during the event.

According to the "xinjinrongshendu" WeChat account, the impersonator, named Xu Guoxiang, delivered a speech on Monday imitating Mao's accent while stating he wishes "wholeheartedly that the forum can achieve success." 

Xu also said during the speech that he "appreciates all guests in the name of Mao Zedong," according to a post on the WeChat account.

The incident has attracted some online criticism, with one netizen leaving a message under the post saying that the forum was "sensational without a bottom line, which is shameful." Another said that images of government leaders should not be tarnished and that the organizers of the forum should be held accountable.

The forum's organizing committee said on Monday that the forum invited Xu as a guest to the forum and that he delivered a speech with "actor characteristics and personal opinion." But the committee also reassured that the speech only represents Xu's personal opinions and does not reflect the stance of the forum, according to a statement it published on, one of the forum's organizers. hadn't responded to an interview request from the Global Times as of press time.

The committee also said that it apologizes for the negative impact caused by the incident while suggesting people should "correctly read" Xu's speech.
The Global Times also contacted Zhang Yinhai, a crypto token industrial insider who had also been invited to the forum but declined the offer.

"As for the impersonating incident, I think it can be treated according to laws and regulations," he told the Global Times on Monday.

Chinese blockchain media firm Kuaimacaijing, which had signed a media cooperation agreement with the forum, announced on Monday that the incident can be blamed on the forum's marketing strategies that used government leader images and that it would withdraw from the cooperation.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued a guideline in June 2007 that banned companies from using the names or images of government leaders in any form of commercial promotion.

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