On social media

MORE STARS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK?: Rumours are swirling that the next star to be blacklisted by the Chinese authorities is martial arts actor Jet Li.

A list of seven names has been circulating online in the wake of actress Vicki Zhao's scandal. Last week, all mentions of the top actress, 45, were scrubbed from the Internet.

Chinese director Zhou Guogang, who had in the past posted celebrity gossip on Douyin, jumped in with speculation that Li, 58, will be cancelled soon.

He called out stars such as actor Huang Xiaoming and actress Li Bingbing, who had deleted their pictures with Zhao from their Weibo accounts, and sounded a warning to Li earlier this week. "Quickly flee. Next month, the house may just collapse on you," he said.

The unverified list, allegedly from China's National Radio and Television Administration, claimed there will be new restrictions on celebrities who hold foreign citizenship.

Besides Li, a Singapore citizen, the list includes actress Liu Yifei (American), actors Nicholas Tse (Canadian), Zhang Tielin (British) and Mark Chao (Canadian); and singers Will Pan (American) and Wang Leehom (American).

Zhao, a Singapore permanent resident, owns a vineyard in Bordeaux with her billionaire husband Huang Youlong and is said to have fled there.

Netizens have speculated that the couple's business ties to tech tycoon Jack Ma could be a reason for her being blacklisted.

The actress posted three photos on Instagram on Sunday, with a caption seemingly implying that she was in Beijing, but swiftly deleted them. Later, she changed her bio to just three words in Chinese: "Ha ha ha."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2021, with the headline 'On social media'. Subscribe