Beijing tightens grip on entertainment industry with mandatory work certificates for performers

screenmixSeptember 9, 2021
The call for work certificates for entertainers before being allowed to work in the country is seen as part of Beijing tightening its grip on the entertainment industry. — AFP pic
The call for work certificates for entertainers before being allowed to work in the country is seen as part of Beijing tightening its grip on the entertainment industry. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — China continues to tighten its grip on the entertainment industry with a call for Beijing to make it compulsory for entertainers to have work certificates before they are allowed to work in the country.

Beijing Performance Industry Association president Zhang Haijun raised the proposal during a symposium recently, reported ynet.

Zhang said artistes must be made to undergo ideological, political, theoretical, professional, and moral training before the certificates are issued.

Those who failed to get the certificates should not be allowed to work on all platforms in the country.

Entertainers are also required to undergo nine years of education before being given the certificate.

Only show hosts and managers of artistes are required to have the certificate for now.. 

Work permits for entertainers were abolished in 2001.

Zhang’s suggestion came as China continue to rein in what it calls “chaotic fan culture” and celebrity excess, after a spate of scandals that have taken down China’s biggest entertainers including hip hop singer Kris Wu, who was arrested on suspicion of rape in August.

Actress Vicki Zhao, 45, had her name removed from video streaming sites as Beijing stepped up its campaign against celebrity culture.

Zhao also had her name removed from the credits of major TV series, and a forum dedicated to the actress on social media platform Weibowas also shut down.

No official reason was given.

There was also an unverified list by China’s National Radio and Television Administration claiming that there would be new restrictions on celebrities who hold foreign citizenship.

Besides martial arts star Jet Li, who holds Singaporean citizenship, other names included in the list are actress Liu Yifei (American), actors Nicholas Tse (Canadian), Zhang Tielin (British) and Mark Chao (Canadian), and singers Will Pan (US) and Wang Leehom (US).

Last week, China also announced the banning of reality talent programmes and ordered broadcasters to promote more masculine representations of men, in a wide-ranging crackdown on “immoral” pop culture Beijing believes is leading young people astray.

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