Being a fan signifies two different cultural identities and practices in the current Chinese cultural environment. Voluntarily engaging in the celebrity economy and star system, actively purchasing everything related to the celebrities, and voluntarily supporting and publicizing beloved celebrity and media products are not only tolerated but welcomed by the industry, and sometimes even the government. However, if fans commits their time to writing fan fiction, creating fan art, and editing fan videos—that is, if they engage in secondary creations that do not generate visible revenue for either the industry or the government—such fans will too often be ignored, marginalized, and erased.
Zheng, Xiqing. 2019. “Survival and Migration Patterns of Chinese Online Media Fandoms.” Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 30. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2019.1805.