Weibo's statement said the decision was part of China's campaign to create a "civilized, healthy and harmonious social environment". The strict approach appears to be part of a nationwide initiative by Chinese authorities to "purify the internet cultural environment" that began in 2016.

Chinese social media companies have launched a new initiative to target user content, targeting posts that show "personal wealth and financial extravagance".

In a statement posted online, Weibo, one of China's most famous social media platforms, said it is conducting special management work on "unwanted value-oriented content", including content that "shows wealth and worships money".

Posts showing luxury cars and expensive properties were removed, the statement said. Posts boasting about wealth and the freedom that comes with being rich were also removed.

Other well-known social media companies in China, including Tencent, Douyin and Xiaohongshu, issued similar statements.

Weibo's statement said the decision was part of China's campaign to create a "civilized, healthy and harmonious social environment".

Users are encouraged to create or share high-quality, accurate and positive value-oriented content on the platform instead of such content.

Douyin said 4,701 messages and 11 accounts were removed in the six days from May 1 to May 7. Xiaohongshu said it had cleaned up 4,273 "illegal" posts and closed 383 accounts in the past two weeks, while Weibo said it had removed more than 1,100 items, according to Chinese media outlet The Cover.

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The strict approach by social media platforms appears to be part of a nationwide campaign by Chinese authorities to "purify the internet cultural environment" that began in 2016.

Despite the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to achieve "shared prosperity", the gap between rich and poor is growing.

Policies and crackdowns on social behavior that the ruling Chinese Communist Party deems unacceptable have been seen in real life.

In September 2023, Beijing changed the law to ban comments, clothing and symbols that "hurt national sentiments".

Editor: David Goodman