The Chinese government hired a firm to recruit social media influencers as part of a new digital operation amid controversies surrounding diplomatic boycotts of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, OpenSecrets’ review of Foreign Agents Registration Act Records found.
The influence operation is being coordinated by Vippi Media, a consulting firm based in New Jersey, as part of a $300,000 contract that spans through March 2022. China’s Consulate General in New York paid $210,000 in advance on Nov. 23.
As part of the online influence campaign to promote the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and the 2022 Paralympics, the Chinese government is paying the firm to recruit influencers who are “to be activated to drive viewership, mass awareness and premium content” for China.
Most of the influencers’ posts are expected to focus on “Beijing & China elements,” including “Beijing’s history, cultural relics, modern life of people, new trends,” Chinese athletes’ preparations and “touching moments.”
At least 20% of the posts are supposed to focus on “cooperation and any good things in China-US relations.” This content is expected to highlight “cooperation” on issues like “climate change, biodiversity, new energy” and “positive outcomes.”
The complete article can be found here. Please note that the site is constantly at risk of attacks from Chinese hackers and hence extra security measures are needed. Below are screenshots of the terms and conditions for these influencers.