26 October 2016
Kay Tse (inset) has cancelled China concerts, triggering speculation that she is being 'taught a lesson' by mainland authorities. Photos: HKEJ, YouTube
Kay Tse (inset) has cancelled China concerts, triggering speculation that she is being 'taught a lesson' by mainland authorities. Photos: HKEJ, YouTube

Has Kay Tse been blacklisted by China?

Cantopop star Kay Tse On-kei (謝安琪) is reported to have canceled concerts in ten mainland cities that were scheduled as part of her world tour this year.

Her agent was quoted as saying that the events had to be dropped as someone had complained to the mainland organizer. 

Tse is said to have felt despondent, and even cried, as she would be unable to keep her promise to perform in front of her mainland fans.

She would have loved to go to Harbin, for instance, but now the fans have to come over to Hong Kong if they want to see her on stage in April.

Deja vu, anyone?

Most of us remember how actor Anthony Wong Chau-san and singer Anthony Wong Yiu-ming were barred by mainland authorities due to the artists’ support for the 2014 pro-democracy protests.

Now, coming to Kay Tse, the sad thing is that we are not even sure if she has really run foul of Beijing.

Her agent insists that Kay has not been blacklisted by China’s cultural bureau, organizers or mainland public security officials.

So, what’s the reason for the event cancellations?

All that we are told is that it was mutually agreed to put off the performances to prevent potential disturbances.

Let’s not forget that Kay dropped a concert in Guangzhou even last year.

That cancellation came amid talk that Anna Chan Ching-sum, convenor of the pro-establishment group Caring Hong Kong Power, reported to authorities that Tse was involved in the Umbrella Movement.

Indeed, the 38-year-old singer who was named Golden Forum goddess for her popular song on Wedding Street, once went to Admiralty to show support to the protesting students.

In June 2014, she created a song called “Egg and Sheep (雞蛋與羔羊)”, which observers took as a reference to sensitive political issues between Hong Kong and mainland China. 

The song was released just weeks after Beijing issued a white paper on “One Country, Two Systems”, and garnered more than two million views on YouTube.

The latest news on dropped concerts comes after Taiwanese singer Chou Tsz-yu (周子瑜) was forced to apologize recently for waving the Taiwan flag during an event in South Korea last year.  

Both cases show that if any artist dares to cross the line, Chinese authorities will put all sorts of pressure to “teach them a lesson”.

Over the weekend, I attended a group-watching event on Ten Years, a must-see movie that talks about what youngsters think could happen in Hong Kong in 10 years time.

The movie became a hot topic after China’s Global Times lashed out at the dark, political satire set in 2025.

A person who directed one of the five episodes told the audience that one of his actors is nervous that his career prospects could be affected due to his participation in Ten Years.

Kay must be having similar worries now, but let’s just hope that her problems are only temporary.

“Egg and Sheep”

“Ka Ming” (Umbrella Movement)

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EJ Insight writer

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