Two Chinese companies have said they will not extend their contracts with Little S, while another terminated its deal following an Instagram post.
By Samson Ellis / Bloomberg
A leading Taiwanese television host found herself the latest to catch the wrath of Chinese netizens after calling the Taiwan Olympians “national competitors.”
Dee Hsu (徐熙娣) – better known as “Little S” – made the comment in an Instagram post on Sunday during the women’s singles badminton final between Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying (戴 資 穎) and Chen Yufei (陳雨菲) from China.
The post sparked an angry backlash in China, where nationalist netizens often monitor celebrity and corporate comments for opinions contrary to the official Chinese Communist Party account that both sides of the Taiwan Strait are part of. ” one China ”.
Photo copied by Chen Hui-ling, Taipei Times
“Hsu’s Ins” – Instagram short for Hsu – quickly became one of the most searched topics on Sina Weibo on Monday, garnering more than 480 million views yesterday.
“Just stay in Taiwan. That way you don’t have to work that hard to have two faces, ”one commenter said online.
A representative for Hsu, who started out as a singer in the 1990s before becoming one of Taiwan’s hottest talk show hosts, could not immediately be reached for comment. The Instagram comment that sparked outrage has since been deleted.
Most Taiwanese celebrities are careful to never reveal their stance on Taiwan’s political status for fear of being left out of the lucrative Chinese market or angering fans who identify as Taiwanese rather than Chinese.
Hsu was unusual in celebrity circles for her outspoken support for former Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Last year, she sharply criticized the government’s decision to ban exports of medical masks in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they were more urgent “in China”.
In recent years, Hsu has spent more and more time crossing the strait to build his brand.
Several companies that sponsor Hsu, including Unilever and sex toy maker Osuga, have sought to distance themselves from Hsu, saying they will not extend their contracts with her, according to the United Daily News and other local media outlets.
Oriental House, a traditional medicinal tea maker based in Ningbo, China, said it canceled its contract with Hsu after it was posted on Instagram.
“The interests of the nation are more important than anything else,” he said in an article by Sina Weibo. “Strongly support the one-China principle. “
Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) was also targeted Monday after congratulating several Taiwanese athletes at the Olympics, angry Chinese netizens asking her why she had not celebrated Chinese competitors.
Those outside of China have found themselves targeted by Chinese state media and internet users as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) encourages the country to challenge those who attempt to divide or weaken it.
The threat of losing market share in the world’s most populous country has prompted sports leagues, airlines and other multinationals to edit perceived political slights.
Japanese actor Yuki Furukawa was also assaulted online last week after asking his 4.5 million Sina Weibo users if they were watching the Olympics as Japan broke the 17-year medal streak. China’s gold in mixed doubles table tennis.
“I asked at the wrong time. I should have been more careful with what I said, ”Furukawa said, after deleting the original post.
Taiwanese athletes have so far won 10 medals in Tokyo – two gold, four silver and four bronze – their best result to date.
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