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Brad Pitt sets Chinese social media astir

brad-pittBEIJING: Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt made waves on Monday with his first post on Chinese social media, a cryptic message suggesting he would soon visit the country.


"It is the truth. Yup, I'm coming...", said the initial entry on the star's verified account on Sina Weibo, one of China's hugely popular Twitter-like microblogs.


It was unclear if the message from the star of "Fight Club", "Spy Game", "Ocean's Eleven" and other films meant that he would be physically coming to China.


Various Internet movie sites say Pitt was banned from entering the country after starring in "Seven Years in Tibet".


In 1997, the state-run China Daily said that Hollywood would "never be forgiven" for a series of films on the region, specifically citing Pitt's movie, along with Richard Gere's "Red Corner" and "Kundun", directed by Martin Scorsese.


China has long waged a campaign against Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing accuses of seeking independence for the troubled region, and the paper said the films "totally distorted historical facts and events".


But Pitt's Weibo account was an instant hit on Monday, drawing more than 100,000 followers within six hours of his first post.


"Bring Jolie along", said one comment, referring to Pitt's glamorous partner actress Angelina Jolie.


China imposes strict controls on the Internet and blocks sites popular in the West such as such as Twitter and Facebook.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013


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