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Cracking down on all show and no substance

Influencer Viya once had over 80 million followers before falling out of favor for tax evasion.

Displaying one’s wealth publicly on the Internet is becoming increasingly dangerous in China. The authorities complain that “this kind of activity seriously violates China’s social values and exposes misguided content to the public.” Well-known and widely used platforms such as Xiaohongshu (literally “Little Red Book”) and Douyin have already drawn consequences, banning certain online challenges, such as the one in which particularly well-heeled users set out to spend ¥1 million (the equivalent of €140,000) a day and then show off on social media what can be bought for it. The “creation of content that intentionally flaunts wealth, for example, by showing off luxurious houses, cars or goods without providing useful information, shall be punished,” according to a brief from the Xiaohongshu platform.

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