x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Brad Pitt's tweet to Chinese is there and then gone

The actor sent a message on China's version of Twitter that he's visiting the country. Hours later, the message mysteriously disappeared

Brad Pitt is now on China's version of Twitter and his first enigmatic tweet drew thousands of comments. Then, mysteriously, it disappeared.

The actor's verified Sina Weibo account sent the message on Monday: "It is the truth. Yup, I'm coming." That was forwarded more than 31,000 times and received more than 14,000 comments, many expressing surprise.

But by Tuesday morning the tweet had disappeared. It was unclear whether the deletion was the work of Pitt and his PR team or Chinese censors. Censors regularly delete tweets and accounts that they deem sensitive. The government requires Sina to do this in-house at their own cost, under threat of fines and shutdowns if they fail.

IMDb.com says Pitt has been banned from ever entering China because of his role in the 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet. The government was upset about the film's portrayal of harsh Chinese rule in Tibet.

Stars use Sina Weibo as a way to connect with the giant Chinese market. To get a certified account, overseas celebrities have to submit copies of their ID among other documents. Tom Cruise joined Sina Weibo in 2011 and now has more than five million followers. - AP