Yao Chen became a superstar not only by doing meet-cute romantic comedies and martial-arts pictures, and walking the red carpet at the world premiere of "The Hobbit"(for which she wore elf ears); she also took an interest in social issues, speaking up, for instance, for a relative whose house was being demolished. It turned out to be the optimal recipe for Chinese middle-class appeal—Weibo gold—the perfect mix of conscience, consumerism, and comedy that has attracted her singularly large following. The thirty-one million followers she had racked up by Tuesday add up to a little less than half the total membership of the Communist Party. In the days ahead, we will see which combination of carrot and stick Xi’s government applies to try to forge a solution. Whatever it is, the larger battle remains unresolved: the fight over who defines the truth in China.