Media reports said the Chinese government paid a US-based PR firm to clean China’s image ahead of the Winter Olympics.
According to Australia’s commercial news site, news.com.au, China spent $300,000 for Vippi Media to enlist influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers across platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
The report said the agreement between China and Vippi, which was registered with the US Department of Justice, would run through to March 2022.
In the agreement, the online influencers would have to produce three to five pro-China pieces of content for their social media audiences.
The report added that the social media move came after China won the propaganda war, with 18-year-old skier Eileen Gu, born and raised in America but chose to represent China at the Beijing Games because her mother is Chinese.
Gu, one of the faces of Victoria’s Secret, has been on the cover of Vogue and boasts nearly 250,000 Instagram followers.
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