SINGAPORE - Home-grown singer Stefanie Sun's agency has denied that she has been blacklisted by the Chinese authorities, after she was named in an unverified list disseminated on the Internet.
A list of seven names has been circulating online since late August in the wake of the Vicki Zhao scandal, in which all mentions of the top actress were inexplicably scrubbed from the Internet.
This month, two new names were added to the list: Sun and singer Wei Wei, who is sometimes known as China's Whitney Houston.
The list, allegedly from China's National Radio and Television Administration, claimed there will be new restrictions on celebrities who hold foreign citizenship.
Sun's agency has dismissed claims that the Singapore singer has been blacklisted as "false rumours".
The other seven names on the list are actors Jet Li (Singaporean), Nicholas Tse (Canadian), Zhang Tielin (British) and Mark Chao (Canadian); actress Liu Yifei (American); and singers Will Pan (American) and Wang Leehom (American).
The works of the above-mentioned artistes have remained on Chinese websites, however.
The list has divided Chinese netizens. While some supported the blacklist, most felt that blacklisting an artiste over his or her foreign citizenship is going overboard, provided he or she is not involved in any controversies or scandals.
Other netizens noted that Sun, 43, has always been a Singaporean, thus the alleged blacklisting would be unjustified.
The entertainment industry in China has been on tenterhooks since a recent spate of celebrity scandals.
Chinese-Canadian pop star and former idol Kris Wu was arrested in August on rape allegations, while Chinese actress Zheng Shuang was fined 299 million yuan (S$62 million) in late August for tax evasion.
Zheng was also embroiled in a surrogacy scandal earlier this year after her former partner accused her of abandoning their two surrogate babies in the United States.
Meanwhile, all mentions of Zhao have been removed from the Chinese Internet and her works taken down from Chinese video-streaming platforms.
Chinese actor Zhang Zhehan, an artiste under Zhao's agency, drew anger in China after old photos of him at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Japan emerged recently. He was dropped by at least 20 brands as an ambassador and production firms said they would stop working with him immediately.