The whereabouts of a US-based Chinese YouTuber are unknown after he traveled to China from the US. He might be in the custody of authorities, considering he touched on sensitive political topics casting the authoritarian communist regime in a negative light.
Zhou Qiang is a presenter of a talk show called “Zhou Zhou Kan,” which is broadcast on YouTube. The Chinese language talk show often covered sensitive political topics such as President Xi Jinping’s authoritarianism, the Hong Kong protests, dissidents such as Ren Zhiqiang, and whistleblowers such as Dr. Li Wenliang, who was among the first to report the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan.
The talk show’s YouTube channel, which is managed by Alliance Cultural Media (ACM), has more than 65,000 subscribers. ACM’s founder, Wei Dahang, in an email to Epoch confirmed that Zhou had traveled to China.
The co-chair of the Democratic Party of China, Dr. Wang Juntao, said that Zhou traveled from Washington to LA on March 2, where he stayed for two days while procuring a health certificate, before catching a flight to Guangzhou. He then observed the mandatory quarantine at a hotel until March 20, after which he dropped off the grid.
Wei, Zhou’s employer, said they had agreed he would send a certain code if he was detained. Zhou is yet to send the code. Wei has tried several ways to contact Zhou to no avail. Zhou’s family does not also seem to know where he is, Wei said.
Wei said that the most likely cause of Zhou’s disappearance was “personal reasons.” He believes Zhou’s family would contact ACM if Zhou had been arrested. However, he did not rule out the possibility that Zhou had been stained, saying the probability was “maybe a 30 percent.”
But if Zhou was abruptly detained, he would not have the chance to send the warning code to Wei. Additionally, his family would probably not confirm his arrest as they would have likely been threatened by the Chinese authorities.
On April 16, another Chinese YouTuber, based in Spain, who uses the pseudonym Uncle Talkative, said he was 99.9% sure Zhou had been arrested by Chinese authorities.
On April 18, LA-based activist Jie Lijiang told The Epoch Times, it was likely that Zhou and his family were under the control of Chinese authorities.
“Previous cases indicate that this has been a gangster tactic well used by the CCP,” said Jie, who had experienced dealing with the CCP’s police while in China. “The CCP is using Zhou as an example to harshly warn other [anti-Beijing] YouTubers, and returning to China for them is like a lamb giving itself away to a hungry tiger.”