A Malaysian comedian better known for mocking attempts by Western chefs at Asian cooking has had his Chinese social media account suspended after making jokes about China.
Nigel Ng (黃瑾瑜), who uses the name Uncle Roger, is the latest comedian to feel the consequences of jokes that could be perceived as reflecting negatively on China under increasingly intense censorship and rising nationalism.
Last week, a Chinese comedian came under police investigation for a joke about stray dogs.
Ng on Thursday posted a video clip from an upcoming comedy special in which he pokes fun at Chinese surveillance and Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over Taiwan.
The video shows Ng interacting with someone in the audience who said he is from Guangzhou, China.
“Good country, good country. We have to say that now, correct?” Ng says. “All the phones listening.”
Ng then jokes with members of the audience who said they are from Taiwan, saying that Taiwan is not a real country.
“I hope one day you rejoin the motherland. One China,” he said.
His Sina Weibo account on Monday said that he was banned from posting for “violating relevant laws and regulations.”
Ng’s agency did not respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, a Chinese comedian could face jail time as police and government departments investigate him for a joke he made at a performance earlier in the month.
Beijing police on Wednesday last week said that they were investigating comedian Li Haoshi (李昊石) “for severely insulting” the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
The comedian, who goes by the stage name House, made a joke about stray dogs by riffing on a well-known propaganda slogan used to describe the Chinese military.
Li said he had adopted two dogs who were energetic when they went after squirrels, shooting off like artillery shells after a target.
Usually, dogs are cute and melt your heart, but when he sees his two dogs, he thinks of the Chinese phrase, “Able to win battles, with first-rate style,” he said.
The phrase was first used 10 years ago by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to describe planned reforms for the Chinese military, said the China Media Project, which studies Chinese media.
A government department known as the Beijing Comprehensive Team of Law Enforcement on Cultural Market said in a statement last week that it had received tips from the public about Li’s performance on May 13, and in response launched an investigation into the company Li is signed with.
The law enforcement team said it would fine the company, Xiaoguo Culture Media Co, about 13.3 million yuan (US$1.9 million). The company did not respond to a request for comment.
An officer who did not give his name at Beijing’s police headquarters declined to say whether Li was under detention or arrest, saying the investigation was continuing and the results would be publicized accordingly.
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