A potential reunion drama between Zhao Liying and Wang Yibo has resulted in fan wars that has gotten many of Zhao Liying’s fan clubs and related accounts banned on a large scale.
On August 24, Zhao Liying’s studio has also been temporarily muted from making any updates on their official Weibo account for violating community rules. Weibo administrators issued a notice explaining that a 15-day ban has been imposed on the studio for their lack of foresight in dealing with the fan wars and failing to issue proper guidance in a timely manner.
According to Weibo, they had received a large number of reports on August 22 that fans of a certain Zhao instigated fights online and promoted a mass boycott over unofficial reports about a new drama. Additionally, marketing accounts used the opportunity to create buzz and spread malicious content.
The drama-in-question is said to be Wild Bloom 野蛮生长 which follows a heroine rising up in the steel industry. Zhao Liying is reportedly reuniting with Legend of Fei co-star Wang Yibo as her leading man. Zhao Liying’s various fan clubs issued joint statements to reject the second collaboration between the two stars and to boycott the drama should the rumors prove to be true. It can be remembered that this is not the first time something like this has happened. Previously, Yang Zi fans were against the actress being casted in Agarwood Like Crumbs though she ended up starring in it anyway.
It seems that things turned very ugly on social media resulting in personal attacks on the artists, the director, etc. Fans of both sides accused each other of instigating the fight.
Weibo Imposes a Large Scale Ban
On August 23, Weibo imposed temporary and permanent bans on a number of accounts. Earlier this year, China’s Central Cyberspace Commission had announced their intent to clamp down on toxic fan culture. Since then, it is the first time such a large-scale ban is being made towards the fandoms. Major accounts affected include “Zhao Liying Global Fan Club” with 2.59 million followers on Weibo and “Zhao Liying Wei Bar” with 2.34 million followers. The mass ban on Zhao Liying’s fan clubs, related accounts as well as the temporary ban on her studio for negligence trended on the Weibo hot search.
According to another statement from Weibo, they have made 633 new cleanups online, dealt with 175 users and permanently banned 140 users related to a certain Zhao. For those relating to a certain Wang, they’ve made 679 new cleanups online, dealt with 75 users, permanently banned 60 and issued periodical bans on other remaining accounts.