How TikTok opened a window into China’s police stateSeptember 25, 2019
A recent flurry of TikTok footage of weddings between Uyghur women and Han Chinese men has been a source of distress for Uyghurs in the diaspora, who see the videos as evidence of forced racial assimilation. According to a report by Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur service, in 2017 the Xinjiang government introduced a “Uyghur-Han Marriage and Family Incentive Strategy,” which offered 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to Uyghur and Han Chinese couples who intermarried.
Mixed marriages are a rarity in China: According to the 2010 census, just 0.2 percent of Uyghurs married Han people. James Leibold, the scholar in Australia, has also uncovered video evidence of the inter-marriage program. In April, he tweeted that the Chinese internet was “awash with short videos promoting Han-Uyghur inter-marriage.” Leibold explained how “there is a long history of this colonial strategy — using inter-ethnic marriage as a tool for national integration.”