China bans celebrities with ‘lapsed morals’ from endorsing products

China has banned all celebrities from endorsing a range of products and banned those with “lapsed morals” from endorsing anything, as part of an ongoing drive to align society with “core socialist values”, the media reported.

The regulations, announced by state regulators this week, bar Chinese celebrities from publicly endorsing or advertising health, education and financial commodities, including e-cigarettes and baby formula, The Guardian reported.

Regulators said the push was to ensure China’s society was “guided by Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era”, referring to the sweeping ideology underpinning the rule of the Xi-led Communist party, The Guardian reported.

“Celebrities should consciously practise socialist core values in their advertising endorsement activities, and endorsement activities should conform to social morals and traditional virtues,” the new regulations said.

It is the latest regulatory move in a crackdown on the entertainment industry, in which celebrities have effectively been blacklisted over scandals and interventions into online fandom.

The rules also banned companies from hiring celebrities found to have “lapsed morals” or engaged in illegal behaviour including tax evasion, drunkenness, drug addiction and fraud, and from using images of Communist party leaders, revolutionary leaders and heroes in their advertising, The Guardian reported.

The authorities said the regulations had been introduced in response to celebrities illegally or falsely endorsing “bad ideas”.

“The media is lax, allowing illegal and immoral stars to participate in advertising endorsements. The chaos in the field of advertising endorsements has seriously infringed upon the rights and interests of consumers, disrupted the market order and polluted the social atmosphere, and the people have expressed strong reactions,” it said, according to state media.

Under Xi’s increasingly authoritarian rule, China’s government has tightened control over the country’s entertainment industry and celebrity fandom in an attempt to reshape China’s pop culture landscape, The Guardian reported.




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