Following a government crackdown that exposed the prevalence of fake lists on the platform, dozens of celebrities in China have been banned from using social media giant Sina Weibo’s rankings.
Prominent users of the micro-blogging platform like Wang Sicong, the socialite heir of billionaire Dalian Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin, are given a three-month ban from its “hot searches” list, that is considered to represent the most frequent searches of its 360m monthly active users.
Weibo overtook Twitter, which has been banned in China, in market capitalization and user numbers last year. However, its success has been threatened by increasing control of online discourse of Beijing.
Regulators criticised Weibo at the weekend for “spreading misleading hype” and “obscene sexual content”, and shut down several functions on the platform for a week that includes the hot searches list.