China looks to online influencers to spread the Communist Party message

China’s Communist Party aims to enlist online influencers – from make-up tutors to stunt performers – into its cause through its main outreach arm, the United Front Work Department.

Cadres from the department as well as cyber administration officials and propaganda cadres from across the country met in Beijing on Thursday for the first time to discuss ways to co-opt influencers, party newspaper People’s Daily reported.

Department head You Quan said that working with online influencers was now a key department priority.

“We need to build an online personnel team, to guide them to play an active role in leading public opinion and other areas,” You was quoted as saying.

“[We] will work hard to surround them by the Communist Party’s side, to concentrate the wisdom and power for achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese people and the Chinese dream.”

The department has traditionally been responsible for managing the party’s relations with non-party elites both inside and outside China.

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