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      Jessica Liao found three of her Weibo
      accounts were banned in early Octo-
           er 2021. The three accounts cost her
      ¥45 (US$7.05) on Taobao, a Chinese
      online shopping platform, in Septem-
      ber  2021.   She bought the  accounts
      to increase traffic data for her idol on
      Weibo,  a  leading  social  media  plat-
      form in China.
             “Each of them had 500 follow-
      ers. I could [use them] repost a post
      [by my idol] for 100 times without
      being stopped [by Weibo censorship
      system],” she says.
              “Idols’ popularity can be quan-
      tified by numbers [including the    The Cyberspace Administration of China announced instructions to
      amounts of likes, reposts and com-         clean up chaos in online fandom on August 27, 2021.
      ments]. Fans want to boost their idols’
      popularity. It can help an idol’s career,”   of the many fans in China engaging  abuse online and doxing, encouraging
      Liao adds.                         intensively on social media platforms  fans to flaunt their wealth, manipulat-
             Despite her strong attachment to   to promote their beloved singers or  ing social media comments and hi-
      her idol, Liao declines to disclose his   actors.                      jacking public opinion by making up
      name. She explains that she does not        But such moves are not allowed  topics online.
      want to associate her idol to a male   anymore. On June 15, 2021, the Cy-       One of the chaos is reportedly
      group survival show he participated   berspace Administration of China  about  an  idol  survival  show  called
      early this year. “[That survival show]   (CAC) launched Qinglang cam-  Youth With You 3 produced by iQIYI,
      was unfortunate [with a bad reputa-  paign (清朗) to put an end to the  a major video streaming platforms in
      tion],” she says.                  “chaos” involving online fan clubs.   China.  A  video  showing  people  be-
             To drive traffic to content related        The CAC banned five kinds of   lieved to be fans pouring bottles of
      to her idol, Liao once had more than   online chaos: inducing minors con-  yoghurt drink down the drain went
      ten Weibo accounts. She was only one   tributing money to their idols, hurling   viral in May. The fans wanted to scan


         Idols’ popularity

      can be quantified by

       data [including the

        amounts of likes,

         repost and com-


                                           The idol survival show, Youth With You 3, produced by iQIYI, was
                     ”                     aired from February 18, 2021 and was abruptly halted on May 1,
                                                             2021 before the grand finale.
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