Two Chinese online video producers known for poking fun at Chinese President Xi Jinping have mysteriously disappeared on the eve of Lunar New Year, the Asia News reported on Wednesday.
The two were reported missing by the head of Qiang Guo Wa Ha, one of several YouTube channels specialised in Ru Bao, a Mandarin term used to describe mocking the Chinese president.
According to the Apple Daily newspaper and Radio Free Asia, the chairperson and a manager of Ru Mo Xin Lian She YouTube channel disappeared last Tuesday.
Several online channels have been referring to Xi as Bao Zi, a steamed bun in Mandarin, ever since he visited a chain restaurant in Beijing and ordered for buns in December 2013.
Ru Bao channels also depict the Chinese leader as Winnie the Pooh, the animated bear made famous by Disney.
YouTube has removed several videos posted from channels mocking Xi, ostensibly for violating the copyrights of Shanghai Hode Information Technology Co Ltd.
The Chinese Communist Party has long been accused of suppressing the idea that could undermine its sweeping authority.
In the past few years, the government has attempted to muzzle critics by making them disappear without a trace, ordering people to physically barge into their houses, or locking up those close to critics as a kind of blackmail.
In late December, a Chinese activist, who re-tweeted a video of ‘ink girl’ Dong Yaoqiang, has been charged with “inciting subversion of state power,” an offence punishable by life imprisonment.
Ou Biaofeng was detained by police on December 3 after he voiced his support on Twitter for Dong.
In 2018, Dong had live-streamed a video of herself splashing ink on a poster of President Xi Jinping, while accusing the Communist Party of “thought control.”
Dong was forcibly admitted to a psychiatric unit twice since the 2018 incident. (ANI)
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