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China freezes all social media accounts of anti-American blogger who campaigned against tech company Lenovo

File photo: Prominent social commentator Sima Nan laughing during an interview in Beijing (AFP via Getty Images)

China banned a blogger’s social media accounts after clashing with the Chinese tech giant Lenovo.

Sima Nan, a well-known Chinese TV pundit, commentator and vlogger with millions of followers who wrote anti-American comments, has been blocked from a slew of social media.

These include Twittersimilar microblogging platform Weibothe messaging app WeChat, the video-sharing site Bilibili and Douyin, the Chinese name for TikTok.

According to the notices posted by the platforms, it was blocked “for violation of the laws and regulations in force”.

No details or cause of what appears to be a collective decision by the social media giants have been announced.

However, it comes after Mr Sima, real name Yu Li, led a new campaign against Lenovo Group and accused the company of manipulating public opinion against him in a video posted on Weibo on Friday.

Mr Sima, who has a history of bitter feud with the company, claimed she was behind reports that he bought a house in California in 2020, leading to a social media trend against him on the site.

He was called out for hypocrisy as Mr. Sima is known for his anti-American rhetoric and has gained millions of followers by regularly calling out Chinese intellectuals, entrepreneurs and even some government departments for betraying the national interest.

With over 44 million subscribers across all platforms, he has earned the nickname “the anti-American fighter” in China.

His feud with the tech giant began in 2021 when he accused Lenovo of allegedly selling off the state-owned company assets less than the value they were worth and said the money would have been used to pay unreasonably high salaries to senior executives.

Lenovo’s parent company defended the asset sale, saying it was legal because the company sold a stake held by China’s top science academy in 2009.

However, Mr. Sima’s social media campaign, where he posted more than 50 videos and articles on the sale, caught the attention of users.

It is common for social media companies in the country to remove content or ban people perceived as threatening their stability or the ruling community party.

Censorship is also sometimes used to contain nationalist voices that cross the party line and are seen as damaging the party.

In 2021 alone, around 1.3 billion accounts were deleted and 3,200 websites were shut down, according to data released Friday by the Cyberspace Administration of China, reported South China Morning Post.