Celebs such as Jackie Chan and Angelababy give a message to moviegoers before a film is screened in Beijing

Award-winning actress Zhou Dongyu is among the celebrities who have recorded videos that must be screened by cinemas before a movie.
Award-winning actress Zhou Dongyu is among the celebrities who have recorded videos that must be screened by cinemas before a movie.PHOTO: ZHOU DONGYU/INSTAGRAM

BEIJING • Jackie Chan has a new message for his fans. It comes in a video before the screening of a movie - local or foreign - that the Chinese theatregoer has bought a ticket for.

"Only when the country and the nation fare well, will everybody fare well," Chan declares. "Only when everyone fights for a beautiful dream, can they come together with the tremendous power to realise the Chinese dream."

The gongfu star is part of a line-up of stars tapped by Beijing to lend their appeal to four videos that must be screened by cinemas in a ruling from Beijing's media regulators.

The celebrities include Donnie Yen, Li Bingbing, Angelababy and recent Golden Horse Best Actress co-winner Zhou Dongyu.

Yen recites a quote from former leader Mao Zedong while Li's line is: "No matter what you do, as long as you don't disappoint our country, our society, our people and your family, then you are helping to realise the Chinese dream."

Several Beijing cinemas told China's Global Times, a state-backed daily, that they were instructed to play the video before all screenings, starting on July 1.

Reactions from cinema fans have have mixed.

The New York Times cited a receptive viewer called Zhang Xun as saying: "It was easy to understand, it spreads positive energy and it was relevant to my life."

Beijing has been tightening the screws on the entertainment industry. Last month, a number of popular gossip blogs were shut down after regulators called on Internet companies to create a "healthy, uplifting environment".

Last week, Internet media giant Tencent was slammed in an editorial in a state-backed newspaper for prioritising profits over the addictive impact among the young of its popular Honour Of Kings online game.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2017, with the headline 'Message from a star, before your movie'. Print Edition | Subscribe