The Chinese government is paying the consulting firm Vippi Media $300,000 to oversee a social media campaign to compensate prominent TikTokers, Twitch Streamers, and Instagram influencers for saying nice things about China leading up to the Beijing Winter Olympics.
From The Washington Free Beacon:
China is waging the social media blitz amid growing threats to boycott the games. The United States, Canada, and Australia this month announced a diplomatic boycott over China's human rights abuses and the recent disappearance of a Chinese tennis star who accused a Communist Party official of rape. Human rights groups have asked NBC and other TV broadcasters not to air the Beijing Olympics, which begin Feb. 4. American companies—Coca-Cola, Visa, Intel, and others—also face pressure to pull out of sponsorship deals for the games. Jaswal opposes the boycott, which he says would have "no impact" on China's behavior and will only "aggravate" Beijing.
The consulate's hiring of Vippi marks a new frontier for China's propaganda initiative, which has gone into overdrive in recent years amid growing scrutiny of its treatment of Uyghurs, its crackdown of pro-democracy groups, and its refusal to allow investigations into the origins of coronavirus.
From the Foreign Agents Registration Act disclosure form:
Focus on Beijing & China elements.
70% for Beijing Winter Olympics & Paralympic & Chinese featured cultures.
- Interesting and meaningful things before/during/after Beijing Winter Olympics such as athletes' preparations in Beijing, new competing items, 3 Olympic Villages, new techs used in this Winter Olympics & Paralympic, touching moments, etc.
- Beijing's history, cultural relics, modem life of people, new trends, etc.20% for cooperation and any good things in China-US relations.
20% for cooperation and any good things in China-US relations.
- High-lever exchanges & positive outcomes.
- Cooperation on climate change, biodiversity, new energy, etc.10% for our Consulate General's news and trends.
10% for our Consulate General's news and trends.
- Promotion for what we post on social media platforms of our ConsulateGeneral such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.
- Some Zoom calls & live broadcasts on the above platforms between ourConsulate General and top influencers.
Founder Vipp Jaswal told the Washington Free Beacon that he hasn't yet selected the lucky influencers who will be paid to spread China's message of good cheer.