Get unlimited digital access. Try it today for only $0.99.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

China seeks to turn entertainers into moral models

China seeks to turn entertainers into moral models

Imagine if, after arresting a wave of celebrities on narcotics charges, American government officials pressed the heads of major Hollywood studios, A-list actors, record label chiefs and chart-topping singers to sign promises that they'd stay away from vices including drugs, pornography and gambling.

Simultaneously, substance-abusing performers found their films shut out of cinemas, forcing producers into hasty reshoots and re-edits. And major news outlets began running editorials criticizing top directors for failing to narc on associates they had witnessed smoking pot or taking Ecstasy.

This parallel universe of probity is no fanciful figment: With China developing a...