China's social media bans 'Buddhist celebrities'
China's social media platforms are now banning the so-called Buddhist celebrities, who refer to a group of people, mostly women, pose as pious Buddhists and sell Buddhism-related merchandise on platforms such as Douyin and Xiaohongshu.
Such accounts often post videos and pictures of women copying the Heart Sutra with a Chinese writing brush, worshiping at Buddhist temples, savoring tea and eating vegetarian food.
When they have built up enough followers, they start selling overpriced Buddhist-related merchandise, such as rosaries, clothing and accessories, according to a report by China Central Television.
The state media criticized their behavior as sacrilege to religious sites, and has violated the 53rd stipulation of Regulations on Religious Affairs by conducting business promotion in the name of religion.
As a response to CCTV's criticism, China's video-sharing platform Douyin punished 48 such accounts, disabled seven and deleted 148 videos. Xiaohongshu deleted 70 posts selling Buddhism merchandises and banned three accounts.
Now if you search for it, the result will show "Be your true self, so that you can be liked by people for a long time. And say no to fake persona and profiteering off religion."