Chinese Beauty Influencer Disappears After Showing Tiananmen Cake

Li Jiaqi, Chinese beauty influencer with tens of millions of subscribers, has disappeared from social networks since he made an involuntary allusion to the Tiananmen Square massacre, whose 33rd anniversary was Saturday.

An ice cream cake in the shape of a tank is what was fatal to Li Jiaqi, a star influencer in China. The king of online sales was cut live on Friday for showing an ice cream cake resembling a tank on June 3, a few hours before the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, 33 years ago. year. An event that the Chinese authorities are trying at all costs to erase from the country’s history, and that young Chinese born after 1989 do not know.

Around each anniversary of the bloody crackdown, the Chinese authorities are particularly vigilant and track any allusion to the event on social networks, in any form whatsoever.

This beauty influencer, nicknamed the “king of lipstick”, presented during his teleshopping show followed by 64 million subscribers, a Viennetta ice cream flanked by round biscuits in the guise of caterpillars, and topped with a piece of chocolate which looked like a tank. Like those the Chinese authorities sent in 1989 to quell protesters in Tiananmen Square. It was enough for the censorship to worry about it, and not to suspend the stream on the online shopping platform Taobao.

Abrupt suspension

Immediately after the abrupt interruption of the program, Li Jiaqi spoke on Weibo of a “technical malfunction”, asking his fans to “wait a moment”. Two hours later, he apologized in another message for not being able to resume his program in the evening, due to an “internet problem”. “Everyone go to bed early. We’ll show you the products that weren’t featured tonight in upcoming streams,” he also wrote.

He has not reappeared since, even missing the show he was to host on Sunday June 5, and has not published anything on social networks. The following Monday, queries on Taobao for Li Jiaqi no longer yielded results.

This episode, followed by the censorship work of the authorities on social networks, of course aroused the curiosity of the influencer’s young audience. Many on Weibo wonder about the reasons for the interruption of the program and the disappearance of Li Jiaqi.

By interrupting the program, the Chinese censors put themselves in a delicate position, as noted by CNN an analyst from China Digital Times, a news site tracking censorship in China. Because completely censoring Li Jiaqi’s name risks producing the opposite effect and drawing attention to his story, and to Tiananmen.