China’s government is planning tougher rules on the use of celebrities in business advertisements in an apparent move to strengthen its crackdown on dissent.
Government watchdogs that oversee businesses, the Internet and media jointly released on Monday a list of conditions regarding how companies use celebrities in their ads.
Officials said some celebrities and influencers appearing in “illegal” ads have helped spread misconceptions in society for years. They called on businesses to carry out advertising in line with President Xi Jinping’s guiding principles.
The authorities urged businesses to align their advertisements with traditional, virtuous norms and to refrain from any action that could disturb social stability.
They also demanded that no Communist Party or government leaders be featured in business ads. The officials say offenders will be punished in accordance with the law.
The move is seen as an attempt by President Xi’s leadership to suppress dissent through a tougher crackdown on the advertising industry.