China cracks down on pop culture in a bid to control youth

    China initiates tactics on ideological control, and in its conduct, state authorities monitor youth culture.
    According to Texas A&M University scholar of media studies Cara Wallis China’s clamp down on pop culture represent a “very concerted effort at ramping up of ideological control.”

    TEXAS, USA — Chinese leaders have launched a crackdown on youth culture in what experts say is a bid to check what it considers the excesses of modern entertainment, urging instead social media platforms to promote patriotic content.

    From reality TV to online gaming and even pop fandom, Beijing has launched the crackdown in a series of sweeping measures that target unhealthy values and “abnormal aesthetics” and check outside influences and snuff any resistance to the Chinese Communist Party.

    Colorful and often outlandish entertainment formats have mushroomed in China over the past decade, including boot camp-style talent TV shows inspired by Japanese and Korean pop culture and celebrity gossip. Along the way, it has also become the largest video games market in the world.

    This has prompted fear among Chinese authorities for the future prosperity of the nation, which is associated with the quality of the younger generation. Alarmed by what they see as decadence and degenerate morals, regulators want to rein in the entertainment and gaming industries.

    They have made an example out of movie stars that allegedly stepped out of line, banned reality talent shows and ordered broadcasters to stop featuring ‘sissy’ men and ‘vulgar influencers’.

    Authorities have also imposed daily limits on the time children spend on video games, saying that there is a threat from the allure of entertainment obsessions that “allow an alternative to exist to the (Communist) Party providing spiritual or ideological guidance” for Chinese youth.

    As tensions have mounted with the West, China has also pushed a nationalist and militaristic narrative at home, including a vision of tough masculinity as seen in blockbuster action films such as Wolf Warrior.

    President Xi Jinping warned young Communist Party officials this month that they should “never be spineless cowards”. (TRC/The MiNT)

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