A UK-based Malaysian comedian, best known for his “Uncle Roger” character, has been banned from at least three Chinese social media platforms after he published a stand-up video with jokes about surveillance and China’s leader Xi Jinping last week.

Uncle Roger Nigel Ng
Nigel Ng as internet personality “Uncle Roger.” Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Nigel Ng’s “Uncle Roger” profiles on three social media platforms – Weibo, billibili and Douyin – had all been suspended when HKFP checked on Monday. “Due to a violation of relevant regulations, this account is now banned from posting,” a message on his Weibo account read. His last visible post was made on April 21.

Last Tuesday, Ng posted a trailer of his live show to Twitter. In the clip, he made jokes about issues such as Taiwan, surveillance and the social credit system.

“[Taiwan] not a real country. I hope one day you join the motherland. One China,” he told an audience member whilst playing his bungling Chinese uncle character. “This nephew got Huawei phone. They all listening… long live President Xi.”

He also joked that his act may see him “cancelled” by Beijing: “Dear CCP, Uncle Roger good comrade, good comrade… Don’t make him disappear please,” he added.

Uncle Roger
Ng’s Weibo account was banned. Photo: Weibo screenshot.

According to the post, the full version of his comedy show will be released on June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown. The 1989 incident saw months of student-led demonstrations in China end, and hundreds – perhaps thousands – die, as the People’s Liberation Army cracked down on protesters in Beijing.

Netizens: ‘Support the ban’

Some on the Twitter-like Weibo network supported the ban: “It is not only about Taiwan independence, but also related to insulting China,” one commenter said.

“Support upholding of justice,” some wrote, as another commented: “Support the ban.”

HKFP has reached out Ng for comment.

Uncle Roger
Ng’s account in bilibili was banned. Photo: bilibili screenshot.

In 2021, Ng posted a video featuring, Mike Chen, a fellow YouTube star who had voiced criticism of Beijing over the treatment of Uyghur minorities as well as opposition to the controversial Hong Kong national security law. Ng later removed the video and apologised to Chinese fans, saying the clip had created a “bad social impact” after multiple users reported it.

Last Wednesday, Chinese authorities fined a comedy company 14.7 million yuan (US$2.13 million)  and threatened further legal action after one of its members made an oblique joke about the army during a stand-up act.

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Mandy Cheng is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. Previously, she worked at Ming Pao, focusing on investigative and feature reporting. She also contributed to Cable TV and others.