Hong Kong protesters call for 'Ip Man 4' boycott due to pro-China stance of Donnie Yen & producer

Real-life pugilism.

Belmont Lay | December 27, 2019, 03:49 PM

Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong are calling for a boycott of Ip Man 4.

This is to oppose the pro-Beijing stance of producer Raymond Wong and actors Donnie Yen and Danny Chan, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Spoiling movie on social media

Activists in Hong Kong are discouraging people from seeing the martial arts film by coming up with innovative ways to spoil it.

This includes posting spoilers and revealing the storyline on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the "Ip Man Challenge".

Major plot points in English or Chinese are put on placards and shared alongside the hashtag "#boycottIpMan4".

The boycott was organised by users of the Reddit-like LIHKG forum, which the pro-democracy movement has been using to organise their leaderless movement.

So far, the movie has done well for an Asian film in China, Taiwan and Singapore.

But in Hong Kong, it has grossed US$660,000 (S$893,442) since Friday, finishing in second place behind Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Pro-China stance

The boycott comes after the public pro-China stance displayed by Ip Man 4's producer and actors.

Raymond Wong

The producer Wong organised a fund for an anti-Occupy Central organisation in 2014.

He also criticised the best film win of the politically controversial, Ten Years, at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2015.

Wong called the movie's win at the ceremony “a huge mistake” and “a joke”, despite it being the consensus of film industry members.

Donnie Yen

Yen, who has been playing Ip Man, shared the stage and sang with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at a gala commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover in 2017.

Yen had also issued a statement early 2019 reasserting “the determination of the motherland”.

This occurred after fans in China were outraged by his attendance at an event hosted by German clothing brand Philipp Plein.

The brand had allegedly insulted China in an incident more than a decade ago.

Danny Chan

Chan, who plays Bruce Lee in this fourth Ip Man movie, has been outwardly supportive of the Hong Kong police.

He had posted on social media that police should not go easy on protesters and not let anyone of them go.

Economic reasons

Protesters in Hong Kong have been actively endorsing "yellow" restaurants, shops and brands that support the movement, and discouraging spending at “blue” or pro-China establishments.

The boycott was launched as a part of the grassroots “yellow economic circle” initiative.

Ip Man 4 is a China co-production.

It has been labelled as a “blue” product as it has a China-leaning slant and caters to Chinese audience’s taste at the expense of the Hong Kong audience.

The first Ip Man movie in 2008 kicked open doors for Yen, who has gone on to star in Star Wars spinoff Rogue One, as well as appear in the upcoming Disney live-action remake of Mulan.

Mulan, however, is also the subject of a boycott after lead actress Crystal Liu voiced support for the Hong Kong police.


The first Ip Man movie won best film and action choreography honors at the 2009 Hong Kong Film Awards.

The first three installments in the franchise have grossed over US$228 million worldwide.