Literally, “道德” means “moral,” and “绑架” means “kidnapping.” This Chinese term means “to use moral values to pressure others into doing the thing you want them to do, often against their own will.” This is as if you’ve “kidnapped” someone’s moral values and use them as a “hostage” to obtain concessions, and can be roughly translated as “moral blackmail.” The most common example is that people would demand the rich and famous to donate an extremely large sum to the victims of a natural disaster, despite the fact that they themselves have done nothing to help out.
Xīnguān fèiyán yìqíng qījiān gěi wǔhàn juān-kuǎn, zhège míngxīng cái juān le wǔwàn kuài。
This showbiz star donated only 50,000 yuan to help Wuhan fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
Juānkuǎn shì zìyuàn xíngwéi,wǔwàn yě
bùshǎo, háishì búyào dàodé bǎngjià bǐjiào hǎo。
Donations should be made out of one’s own will, and 50,000 yuan is not such a small sum. It’s better not to use moral blackmail on others.