Eliminating decadent TikTok content is a matter of survival

Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Chinese President Xi’s governance strategy has emphasized “core socialist values” like civility, patriotism, and integrity to ward off nihilism and decadence:

The creator of TikTok and CEO of Bytedance, Zhang Yiming, originally intended for the content on TikTok and its Chinese version, Douyin, to be determined purely by popularity. As such, Douyin started off much like TikTok is now, with the content dominated by teenagers singing and dancing.

In April 2018, the CCP began action against Zhang. Its media watchdog, the National Radio and Television Administration, ordered the removal from Chinese app stores of Bytedance’s then-most popular app, Toutiao, and its AI news aggregator, Neihan Duanzi, citing their platforming of “improper” content. Zhang then took to social media to offer a groveling public apology, stating: “Our products took the wrong path, and content appeared that was incommensurate with socialist core values.”

Shortly after, Bytedance announced it would recruit thousands more people to moderate content, and, according to CNN, in the subsequent job ads it stated a preference for CCP members with “strong political sensitivity.”

The CCP’s influence over Bytedance has only grown since then. Last year, the Party acquired a “golden share” in Bytedance’s Beijing entity, and one of its officials, Wu Shugang, took one of the company’s three board seats.

The CCP’s intrusion into Bytedance’s operations is part of a broader strategy by Xi, called the “Profound Transformation”, which seeks to clear space for the instituting of core socialist values by ridding China of “decadent” online content. In August 2021, a statement appeared across Chinese state media calling for an end to TikTok-style “tittytainment” for fear that “our young people will lose their strong and masculine vibes and we will collapse.”

In the wake of that statement, there have been crackdowns on “sissy-men” fashions, “digital drugs” like online gaming, and “toxic idol worship.” Consequently, many online influencers have been forcibly deprived of their influence, with some, such as the movie star Zhao Wei, having their entire presence erased from the Chinse web.

For Xi and the CCP, eliminating “decadent” TikTok-style content from China is a matter of survival, because such content is considered a herald of nihilism, a regression of humans back to beasts, a symptom of the West’s terminal illness that must be prevented from metastasizing to China.


  1. Bomag says:

    Can’t be against this, in general. People do better with guidance.

    In the West, we mandate tranny worship and vocational homosexual classes, while our censures are happily scratching data dissemination regarding racial genetic differences, and any White ethnic consciousness.

    As we rocket into the future, I’m not sure if censures can keep ahead of the designated bad guys. We seem to have lost the war on drugs in the US. I’m thinking of Socrates, riffing on hierarchy where those above watch those below. When considering who watches the highest level, he suggested they have to watch themselves. Now that we are all becoming autonomous agents, we all have to watch ourselves if we are to avoid the swirling drain.

  2. Aisurgen says:

    That was then, Chicommies were also very proud of their zero-covid shtick those days. But how is it going now? Each Commies’ fight against human nature starts with the bang and hailed to the skies by the gullible Westerners of different political crazes, but usually ends iin a disaster, or with a whimper if they are lucky

  3. Gavin Longmuir says:

    “… such content is considered a herald of nihilism, a regression of humans back to beasts, a symptom of the West’s terminal illness that must be prevented from metastasizing to China.”

    Many high-tech companies have found there are profound advantages in being a “fast follower” rather than being out in front. China is benefitting from something analogous. They can see what has happened to the West — a road that leads to censorship of facts in parallel with celebration of depravity. Quite reasonably, Chinese leaders decide they want none of that. So they choose a different path.

    Will China’s path turn out better than the slippery slope we Westerners are sliding down? Time will tell.

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