Chinese actress Vicki Zhao appears in public for first time in 20 days?

Photos of actress Vicki Zhao (in purple), said to be taken in her home town of Wuhu city in Anhui, began circulating on Sept 14.
Photos of actress Vicki Zhao (in purple), said to be taken in her home town of Wuhu city in Anhui, began circulating on Sept 14.PHOTO: JIM/WEIBO

BEIJING - Chinese actress Vicki Zhao Wei has resurfaced after disappearing from public view for 20 days, according to photos circulating on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

Zhao, who rose to fame in the period drama My Fair Princess (1998), has not been seen after she was scrubbed from the Chinese Internet on Aug 26. Her works were removed from Chinese video streaming platforms, while a forum dedicated to her on Weibo was also shut down.

No official reason has been given so far for the alleged blacklisting, but there were claims that the 45-year-old actress was under house arrest. Others said she had left for France, where she owns a vineyard in Bordeaux with her husband, businessman Huang Youlong.

However, photos of her said to be taken in her home town of Wuhu city in China's Anhui province began circulating on the Chinese Internet on Tuesday night (Sept 14).

In one, Zhao was wearing a hat and casually dressed in a purple T-shirt and light green shorts.

In another, she was sitting on a chair which had the Chinese words "Customer service department for government and enterprises" on the back.

Some of her fans took this to mean that the allegations against her were baseless, while others wondered if the photos were taken before Aug 26, noting that none of the staff were wearing face masks in the light of the current pandemic outbreak.

The actress had posted three photos on Instagram on Aug 29, with a caption that implied she was in Beijing, but then swiftly deleted them.

On Sept 12, she wished Chinese director Li Mengqiao happy birthday on Weibo, even though Li's birthday falls on Aug 29. The comment has since been deleted.