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Remember Those Exploitative African “Blessing Videos” on Chinese Social Media? They’re Back. This Time in the West.

It was once very easy for Chinese social media users to spend between $15 and $40 to get a bare-chested man, a scantily clad woman or even a child to do demeaning performances in short videos that were often highly exploitative.

Ghanaian Winger Frank Acheampong Slaps Opponent in Chinese Super League Match in Response to Alleged Racial Insults

Ghanaian footballer Frank Acheampong apparently reached a breaking point on Friday when the Shenzhen FC winger slapped a member of the opposing team in response to alleged racial slurs. The 29-year was ejected from the match for violent behaviour, his first-ever ...

Malawian Court Convicts Chinese Man at the Center of BBC Expose for Exploiting Children to Make Videos

A Malawian court convicted Lu Ke, the Chinese man featured in a BBC Eye on Africa documentary about the highly exploitative practice of showcasing African children in so-called "blessing videos." The court on Friday sentenced Lu to 12 months in ...

No Blackface in This Year’s Spring Gala TV Show, Actual Africans Performed Instead

The producers of this year's Spring Gala television variety show in China appear to have learned from recent scandals around Chinese actors in blackface appearing in the hugely popular annual Lunar New Year program. Instead, Tanzanian singer Coronia Kila performed on ...

Here We Go Again… More Blackface on Chinese Television

The Hong Kong-based television network TVB is facing criticism following this week's broadcast of its popular drama series Come Home Love: Lo and Behold, which featured actors wearing blackface. The offending scene had a number of young Hong ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

African Exploitation Videos Are Big Business on Chinese Social Media

The recent BBC documentary "Racism for Sale" pointed a powerful spotlight on the popular Chinese "blessing video" business that is both highly exploitative and very profitable. These videos feature Africans and people from other developing regions, often ...

A Discussion With the Journalists Behind the BBC Documentary “Racism For Sale”

The BBC investigative unit Africa Eye turned a powerful spotlight last month on a multi-million dollar business in China that exploits people in developing regions, including young children in Africa, to produce so-called "blessing videos." ...

Despite Controversy, the Video Industry Exposed by the BBC’s Racism Documentary Is Thriving

Even as Chinese diplomats scramble to distance themselves from the trade in videos featuring African children coached to repeat demeaning phrases in Mandarin, the “well-wishing video” industry exposed by the recent BBC documentary “Racism for Sale” is going strong. The China-watcher ...

China’s Censors Catch Up with Discussions of BBC Racism Expose

China’s censors are now cracking down on online discussions sparked by the BBC documentary “Racism for Sale.” The program exposes the trade in online videos in which African children are tricked into repeating demeaning phrases in Mandarin. 

BBC Documentary Sparks More Reflective, Less Racist Discussion on Chinese Social Media

It took a few days, but the BBC Africa documentary "Racism for Sale," which showcased the trend of Chinese merchants selling offensive videos online that exploit Africans, finally made it over the Great Firewall and is now the subject of lively online discussions. ...