- Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters
A new TV ad glorifying China’s Communist Party has gone viral online in China.
In celebration of the party’s 95th anniversary, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) produced the party’s first public-service TV ad, titled “Who am I.”
The 90-second video opens with the question, “Who am I? What kind of person am I?”
It then shows six party members from all walks of life – each going beyond the call of duty, before concluding, “I’m the Communist Party. I’m always by your side.”
Featured in the ad are a student who is the last to leave after tidying up a classroom, a street-sweeper cleaning the roads before dawn, and a police officer directing traffic while weathering a thunderstorm. The scenes play out over emotional piano music.
The video was filmed in Shanghai, the home base of the Chinese Communist Party in its early days, and the production took nearly three weeks to complete, CCTV noted.
The advertising is meant to illustrate socialist values and communicate the Communist Party’s beliefs through “fresh language and rich images,” according to CCTV.
The video was first broadcast on TV in June, but it did not gain much popularity until Tuesday, when the ad was shared by the Communist Youth League on Sina Weibo, a service akin to Twitter.
As the ad begins making waves, reaction has been mixed.
“My heart melted as I watched,” said one observer quoted by The Paper, China’s digital-news outlet. “Can’t believe I just became a fan of the Party.”
Others pointed out that the virtues portrayed in the ad, such as selflessness and kindness, are not necessarily exclusive qualities of the Communist Party.
“It is not about the party. It is about hard-working people,” a Weibo user commented online.
Others gave the ad their own twist, posting comments like “I am the one who is best at deleting posts,” one said, sarcastically.
According to What’s on Weibo, others quipped, “I am the one who is best at talking,” “I am the one who shouts the loudest slogans.” Censors have removed some of those comments.
The video was also posted on YouTube, which prompted uncensored comments that mainland Chinese people cannot access.
“There’s no point in creating a political ad because people don’t have the right to vote or elect,” said one YouTube user.
Another comment suggested replacing the stars in the ad with imprisoned former high-ranking Communist Party officials such as Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang, Xu Caihou, and Guo Boxiong.
Despite divided reaction online, the video has earned more than 20 million hits on Tencent Video, one of China’s largest video sites, according to China Daily.