Zhao Wei makes first appearance since government blacklisting
Actress Zhao Wei has emerged in her hometown of Wuhu in her first appearance since the Chinese government ordered that her name be scrubbed from TV streaming platforms in an apparent blacklisting.
On 26 August, her name was removed from all television series and films on platforms such as Tencent Video, iQiyi and Youku. The shows featuring Zhao Wei are still available and intact, but all credits attributing her involvement were removed. There was no official government announcement and streaming platforms were not provided the reason for the directive to scrub Zhao's name.
The celebrity was rumoured to have travelled to France where she owns a few wineries in Bordeaux, but now, three weeks after her censorship, netizens are circulating photos locating her in Wuhu, a city in eastern China's Anhui province.
The photos show Zhao Wei at a mobile services provider, smiling as she took informal pictures with fans. She was casually dressed in a loose purple T-shirt, green shorts and a hat. An electronic cigarette was hanging from her neck.
Zhao shot to fame for her role in the popular 1998 TV series My Fair Princess and is one of the wealthiest actresses in China, reportedly sharing a billion-dollar fortune with her husband, businessman Huang Youlong.
It's unclear what the reason for Zhao's blacklisting is, as she was linked to previous incidents that could have earned the government's displeasure.
China has gone on a blitz against celebrities that the government perceives as undesirable.
In July, Canadian-Chinese actor Kris Wu was arrested in Beijing and charged with rape after numerous women accused him of date rape. Last month, actress Zheng Shuang was ordered to pay 299 million yuan (US$46 million) in fines, taxes and penalties for tax evasion.
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