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Grote ophef in China om ‘melkpoederaanval’ in Amsterdam

Manya Koetse



Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on Contact at, or follow on Twitter.

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Crime in China

The Real Deal: Xinjiang Anti-Drug Campaign Video Goes Viral

Some people suggest the actor in Xinjiang’s latest anti-drug video campaign deserves an Oscar for his drug dealer role.

Manya Koetse



An anti-drug campaign released by Xinjiang authorities has become a trending topic on Chinese social media after different major Chinese official media outlets such as People’s Daily posted the video on their social channels.

One of the main reasons why the video has gone trending is not because of the strong anti-drug message it conveys, but due to the acting skills of the featured anti-drug ambassador. Many people say they would immediately believe he truly is a drug dealer.

Some people actually think he is so convincing as a drug dealer, that he is less convincing as an actual anti-drug ambassador.

“He’s a better actor than many actors we know,” some said, with others praising the ‘drug-dealer’ actor for having “such temperament, such aura.”

One hashtag related to the video, initiated by the Sichuan media account Sichan Guancha (@四川观察), is titled “Xinjiang Anti-Drug Ambassador Doesn’t Look Like [He’s] Acting” (#新疆禁毒形象大使不像演的#), and it received over 350 million clicks on Weibo on Thursday, becoming one of the top trending topics of the day.

In the video (link), we first see a man sitting in a dark room looking straight into the camera and, with a low voice, saying:

I am a ruthless drug dealer, but I will never tell you. I’ve recently tried out a new routine again and again.”

In the next scene, we see the same man, dressed in a black coat and wearing a black beanie hat, in a coffee bar. While he is about to give a woman standing next to him a piece of candy, he again stares into the camera and says:

Of course, I won’t tell you I’ll disguise the Methaqualone as candy for you. We also call it “Fode” (佛得). After taking it, it can trigger severe coma and lethal respiratory failure. The minimum lethal dose is just 2-10 grams..”

The video then goes on to show the man sitting down on a sofa next to another lady, about to hand her a bottle of pills:

I also won’t tell you that these little tablets are actually Triazolam, a strong tranquilizer. Taking it can result in quick coma – it’s forty to hundred times stronger than Diazepam [Valium].

The next scene shows the man stepping up to a woman in what seems to be a book shop or library, and just before handing her a piece of jelly, he turns to the camera and says:

I also surely will not tell you that I’ve mixed Methcathinone psychoactive substances with jelly. It can lead to violent behavior, and heavy doses can lead to death due to heart failure.

In the final scene, the man is back in the dark room and seems to snort something before turning back to the camera, saying:

Oh, and don’t send this video to your friends and family. Otherwise, my tactics won’t work..”

“We would almost report him!” some official media accounts wrote about the video.

In recent years, Xinjiang authorities have stepped up their anti-drug publicity campaigns. Besides their social media campaigns, the Xinjiang Anti Drug Office also carries out anti-drug campaigns at schools.

The main actor, who is now a social media hit, appears in multiple videos issued by the Xinjiang authorities (here’s another one).

Some people joke about praising the actor for his acting skills: “I don’t know the difference between the drug lord and the actor anymore.”

“You can only play [the role] this well if you’ve seen a lot of drug dealers,” some commenters suggested.

In light of the actor almost being more popular now than the message the video propagates, many people want to know who he is and what his background is.

“Isn’t he a veteran actor?” some wonder: “What’s his name?”

Although it is not reported at this point who the actor is, some people think he is not a professional but is part of the local anti-drug office team.

It is not uncommon for local anti-drug teams to be creative in their campaigns. In 2020, Hainan’s anti-drug police force published a video of themselves covering Jay Chou’s “Mojito” (link).

Some commenters even suggested that the Xinjiang and Hainan forces join hands in making a new production.

Another campaign that was less popular was one that took place in Guangdong in 2018, when ten households in a local village were publicly shamed by having the words “Drug Crimes in Family” sprayed on their walls or doors (link). Compared to those kinds of publicity campaigns, this Xinjiang one is definitely more popular among Chinese netizens: “He might be a drug lord, but I just think he’s really handsome.”

By Manya Koetse 


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China Brands, Marketing & Consumers

The Success of Thai Ads in China – Thailand’s Latest Viral ‘Ocean Skin’ Ad

A Thai commercial for skin care brand Ocean Skin recently has been making its rounds on Chinese social media. The popularity of the 2.5-minute ad again proves the international success of Thai commercials.

Manya Koetse



A Thai commercial for skin care brand Ocean Skin recently has been making its rounds on Chinese social media. The popularity of the 2.5-minute ad once again proves the international success of Thai commercials.

What is it with Thai commercials? No matter if it’s the tear-jerking so-called “sadvertising” or cheerful and funny ads, commercials from Thailand are hugely popular on Chinese social media; there are even entire accounts fully dedicated to sharing them online.

The latest hit is a funny campaign by Ocean Skin that shows a young woman who would do anything to achieve that perfect skin. The commercial was posted on a popular funny video Weibo channel (@冷笑话精选), from where it was soon shared over 14,000 times within a few hours after it was posted.

“Thai commercials are better than movies,” one commenter said. Other netizens hold similar opinions, saying that Thai commercials are in a league of their own.

Thai commercials often are indeed like short movies, as they greatly focus on narrative and plot. Music also plays an important part in creating the commercial’s movie-like atmosphere.

It is noteworthy that many Thai commercials, both sad and funny, focus on overcoming personal challenges and convey morals about not giving up.

One reason why Thai commercials might be especially successful in Asian countries like China is because they also often emphasize family ties and filial duty, which are also important in Chinese culture.

The feminine beauty ideals constructed in Thai commercials are also similar to those in China and neighboring Asian countries.

One of the biggest Thai hit commercials was the 2014 hit ‘Unsung Hero‘ (Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok), about a young man who does good things for others every day and gets rewarded in an emotional way.

A more recent example is the ‘Failure is Part of Success‘ commercial, that also became a hit on Chinese social media in 2016.

To see more Thai commercials check out these ones.

– By Manya Koetse

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at

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What’s on Weibo is run by Manya Koetse (@manyapan), offering independent analysis of social trends in China for over a decade. Subscribe to show your support and gain access to all content, including the Weibo Watch newsletter, providing deeper insights into the China trends that matter.

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