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人怕出名猪怕壮 : People fear getting famous like pigs fear fattening up

🔴 CHINA: Quote of the week
人怕出名猪怕壮 : People fear getting famous like pigs fear fattening up

While it seems everyone is trying to get famous these days (Instagram, YouTube, TikTok), this Chinese saying sounds a warning about fame. And fame can be risky indeed, especially in China. For example, if you made Hurun China Rich List, the likelihood of you being under investigation has just gone up.

📌 For China scholars and commentators, public fame can bring a few problems too. First one is trolls. These may or may not be state-directed. As China-related issues have become more divisive in many countries, trolls and personal attacks based on very minuscule things have become more common. This problem is exacerbated for people of Chinese heritage. On the one hand, accusations of “disloyalty” to the country of citizenship or residence, accompanied by calls for them to “go back to China”. On the other hand, accusations of “race traitors” or “forgetting roots”, accompanied by some kind of family shaming.

📌 Second one is official responses. We have seen recently with the cases of Li Jianjun, Chen Hong, Clive Hamilton, and Alex Joske. But there are also many other unreported incidents where authorities exert pressure on people and their families in order to stop them from speaking out. And more people have refrained from speaking out in the first place for fear of repercussions, whether it’s visa or safety.


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