China mutes reaction to Chloé Zhao’s Oscar wins

Yet, in China, where Zhao was born, her success has not been trumpeted or celebrated.

Instead, there was even censorship.

Some users are resorting to using “zt” to post about Zhao, using the initials of her full name in Chinese, Zhou Ting.

Douban, an app popular with film buffs, banned searches for Nomadland and Zhao Ting, saying that “the search results could not be displayed in accordance to relevant laws and regulations.” Multiple discussion threads about Zhao’s win were deleted on the app as well.

In stark contrast, South Korea’s Youn Yuh-jung, who won over audiences playing the grandmother in Minari, could still be searched on the Chinese internet.

And in Youn’s home of South Korea, “Actor Youn Yuh-jung” topped Twitter’s trending list, while other South Korean celebrities quickly offered their congratulations.

Zhao faced a nationalist backlash in March when she won a Golden Globe for best director, with internet users in China questioning whether she could be called Chinese and some saying she had insulted her home country in comments on the political system.

Before the backlash in March, the film was slated for an April 23 release in China according to local media, but it did not open last week and there was no official word on a release.

“Wow that’s incredible — winning a world’s top award as a Chinese person,” said Zhou Lu, 35, who works at a publisher in Beijing.

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