CHINA / SOCIETY
Works of scandals-hit actress Zhao Wei removed from platforms, following ban on actor Zhang Zhehan for visiting Yasukuni Shrine
Published: Aug 27, 2021 12:20 PM
Zhao Wei Photo: VCG

Zhao Wei Photo: VCG


 
Chinese billionaire actress Zhao Wei's name has been removed from many of the works she starred in on major Chinese video platforms, and many of the films, talk shows and TV series she acted in were also removed from the platforms as of Thursday night.

She is the latest celebrity whose works have been taken down after actor Zhang Zhehan, who came under fire for visiting Japan's notorious Yasukuni Shrine.  

Zhao, who become the Italian luxury fashion brand Fendi's China brand spokesperson in 2020, is one of China's most well-known actresses, who has been entangled in various scandals over the years.

Many netizens wrote on social media since Thursday night that searching Zhao's name on many major Chinese video platforms such as Tencent Video and iQiyi showed no results, and her works including My Fair Princess, which was dubbed one of the most popular Chinese TV dramas of all time, have been taken down from several platforms which did not give explanation. On other platforms, Zhao's name was simply removed from the cast.

According to Hubei-based news media Jimu News, several video platforms confirmed the removal of Zhao's works, saying they received the request at a short notice and without a clear reason. 

Topics like "What's happening with Zhao Wei" and "Zhao Wei was removed from many of her works" topped the hot topic list on Weibo on Friday, with many netizens discussing the possible reasons why her works were removed. 

As early as 2001, Zhao received an overload of criticism for publicly wearing a dress featuring a Japanese military flag. 

Aside from her celebrity identity, Zhao was also widely known as a billionaire investor surrounded with lawsuits. She bought the Chateau Monlot in the Saint-Emilion region of southwest France in 2011 and she and her husband Huang Youlong made it on to Hurun list of world's wealthiest young billionaires in 2016, whose fortune was estimated at US$1 billion, according to the listing. The couple's investments include an early stake in Alibaba Pictures Group.

Her investments, however, also brought her lawsuits. Zhao was a target of lawsuits filed by 67 investors demanding some 50 million yuan ($7.45 million) in compensation for a misleading takeover in 2016, and she and her husband were banned from China's securities markets for five years for market violations in 2017.

According to statistics by qcc.com, a Chinese corporate database, Zhao had 14 companies; two had cancelled registrations and four were revoked of their licenses, as of press time. It also showed Zhao's companies were facing risks such as having their shares frozen. 

Zhao's removal from video platforms comes two weeks after actor Zhang Zhehan, who was reportedly signed by Zhao Wei to her company last year, had all of his accounts and works banned on various social media platforms including Weibo, after posing at Japan's notorious Yasukuni Shrine, sparking wide outrage. 

Global Times 


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