Alleged lifting of ban on Chinese actress Vicki Zhao sparks speculation of return

By Nhu Anh   March 21, 2024 | 11:39 pm PT
Reports suggest that films featuring actress Vicki Zhao have resurfaced on major video streaming platform Bilibili, hinting at a potential comeback in June.
Chinese actress Vicki Zhao. Photo from Instagram/vicki_zhaowei

Chinese actress Vicki Zhao. Photo from Instagram/vicki_zhaowei

St Headline claims that the ban imposed on the actress has purportedly been lifted, with snippets of her work reappearing on Bilibili. Fans can now access TV series and films in which the actress starred, such as "My Fair Princess," "Romance in the Rain," and "Painted Skin." Over the past three years, videos featuring Zhao were either removed from the platform or had her face censored.

On Chinese online forum Douban, discussions indicate that posters featuring Zhao in "My Fair Princess" and "Romance in the Rain" have replaced versions without her presence, which had been on the site for three years. Additionally, Zhao's data has been partially restored on Baidu, the most widely used search engine in China.

However, her works are yet to resurface on other video platforms.

A source suggests that Zhao will gradually reintegrate into the entertainment industry, having revamped her team and done photoshoots with several magazines. Speculation is rife that she will make her official return by the end of June.

Zhao's last public appearance was at a Fendi event in July 2021, where she served as the brand's spokesperson in China. All series and movies featuring her were removed from video platforms the following month, and her name vanished from movie awards portals. Brands she represented also purged or hid any content related to her on China's social media platform Weibo.

Baidu indicates that the ban imposed on Zhao is a common practice in China's entertainment and sports industries, which prohibits individuals from working in these sectors due to violations of moral or legal codes. Social media also scrubs any content associated with such celebrities. Other Chinese entertainers, including singer Kris Wu, actress Zheng Shuang, and singer Zhang Zhehan, have faced similar bans in recent years.

Official reasons for Zhao's alleged ban remain undisclosed.

Zhao, 48, was considered one of China's "Four Dan Actresses," a term referring to the four most financially successful young actresses from Mainland China. She is among a limited number of female Chinese artists who have excelled in film, television, and music, according to Xinhua.

Zhao ventured into business in 1999 by establishing multi-industry companies. Alongside her husband, Singaporean businessman Huang Youlong, she amassed an estimated wealth of 4.5 billion yuan (US$625 million) by 2019, ranking 912th on economy and finance news platform Hurun's China Rich List.

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