China Closes Harper’s Bazaar’s WeChat Account, Again

Harper’s Bazaar’s new WeChat account, “Bazaar Entertainment’s New Account,” which was launched on June 8, was shut down again on June 9 for violating online regulations in China. The new account was opened after China’s network regulator shuttered its original one in a wider crackdown of 60 accounts across a variety of social media platforms that disseminate gossip and information about celebrities.

The shutdown stemmed from a private meeting between major Chinese tech firms (including Tencent, Baidu, Sina and Netease) and the Beijing Cyberspace Administration on June 7, when the regulators ordered these internet service providers to take the necessary steps to ensure the online information was aligned with “core values of socialism.”

Upon its first shutdown, Harper’s Bazaar started a new account on WeChat and quickly pushed out an article featuring Dilireba, a young Chinese actress who recently rose to popularity after replacing Angelababy in the reality television show Keep Running.

Harper's Bazaar opened a new public account following the first shutdown on June 8. The new one was closed once again on June 9 for violating online regulations.

Harper’s Bazaar opened a new public account following the first shutdown on June 8. The new one was closed once again on June 9 for violating online regulations.

The new Harper’s Bazaar account attempted to downplay the issue by sending a message to fans, which said that they would be going through “a transformation in the near future” in order to fulfill the government’s regulation.

At 4:10am, there was a new message by WeChat on the history feed of the new account that said, “The new Bazaar account has violated internet regulations, click to see details.” If you clicked on the link, you were taken to a new page that gave registration information about the account. There, it listed a timeline of the new account’s activity: “June 8: the account was registered; June 9: the account violated internet regulations and was deleted; June 9: the account has been deactivated.”

The reason behind WeChat closure of the magazine’s new account are still unclear. Harper’s Bazaar had not responded to our request for comment by the time of this publication.

It may have had to do with the subject matter of Harper’s Bazaar’s first article. It gave details of the personal life of the celebrity Dilireba, before she became famous.

 

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Policy, Social Media