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Chinese influencer’s ice cream pitch inadvertently introduces fans to the Tiananmen Square massacre

HONG KONG—One of China’s biggest online influencers stepped on a political landmine while promoting an ice cream product on Friday. In the process, he sparked a wave of curiosity about the government’s bloody 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square among hordes of fans too young to remember.

The discovery is the product of the marketing creativity of Li Jiaqi, an e-commerce live streamer known as the “Lipstick King,” clashing with the hair-triggering reflexes of China’s vigilant Internet censors.


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