5 Celebrity Scandals that Rocked China in 2019

By Bryan Grogan, December 3, 2019

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The good, the bad and the ugly. The weird and the wacky. As is the That’s tradition, we’ve compiled  our 2019 China Year in Review series. So sit back, relax and relive the highs and lows of the last 12 months.

1. Dashan Debacle

Image via @大山/Weibo

Often called China’s most famous foreigner, Dashan, or Mark Rowswell, has enjoyed overwhelming fame in the Middle Kingdom. His pristine image was dealt a blow this year after the comedian posted images of wearing blackface on Twitter. In both his Twitter apology and in a statement emailed to That’s, Rowswell asserted that he and his friends donned black makeup to emulate their heroes and role models. 

2. JJ Lin Medical Waste

Image via @澎湃新闻/Weibo

Workers at a hospital in Jiangsu province were caught attempting to sell medical products which had been used by Singaporean Mandopop singer JJ Lin. Disturbingly, a WeChat post offered up items like a drip bag and syringe. The workers were promptly suspended from their roles. 

3. Douyin Death

Image via Ola TV/Youtube

A 14-year-old girl in Shandong named Zhou Zhe died after she tried to mimic a popular Douyin stunt, whereby video blogger Zhou Xiaohui made popcorn using a soda can and an alcohol burner. The girl and her friend, 12-year-old Xiao Yu, were unsupervised while attempting to remake the video, causing Zhou Zhe’s death and severe injuries to Xiao Yu. 

4. Zhao Lixin

Image via IMDb

A number of celebrities were ‘canceled’ this year for questionable behavior, including entertainers Roy Wang (smoking in a Beijing restaurant) and Yico Zeng (causing an airport ruckus). Perhaps most noteworthy was Chinese-Swedish actor Zhao Lixin’s comments about Japan’s invasion of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The actor’s comments seemed to downplay atrocities like the Nanjing Massacre, and led to his Weibo account being closed. 

5. Fan Bingbing and Gavin Gao Scrubbed from TV Series

Image via Twentieth Century Fox/IMDb

After being mired in a tax evasion scandal for much of 2018, Fan Bingbing’s return to our screens was cut short after the creators of TV series, The Legend of Ba Qing, announced that they would spend around RMB60 million to erase the X-Men: Days of Future Past star, as well as fellow controversial actor, Gavin Gao. Gao was accused of raping a woman in Australia in March 2018. 

For more 2019 Year in Review coverage, click here.

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