14:50 GMT +314 November 2018
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    Hundreds Fired, Thousands Punished in Chinese Crackdown on Livestreaming Sites

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    China's culture watchdog said on Wednesday that it had permanently shut down 10 livestreaming platforms and punished 48 livestreaming studios as part of a regulation-enforcement drive.

    A total of 30,235 online livestreaming channels were closed, 3,382 studios were rectified, 31,371 online hosts were punished and 547 hosts lost their jobs, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement released on Wednesday.

    The Beijing News reported that the latest crackdown on livestreaming was triggered by "a string of negative social impacts" exerted by these platforms, including the release of "misleading information" by a livestreamer who pretended to stay inside Beijing's Palace Museum overnight, according to the ministry.

    One platform, Zaizhibo, was instructed to suspend for 14 days due to its "serious violation of rules."

    This round of regulation-enforcement is focused on materials containing obscenity, pornography, gambling, violence and superstition, and content which can "impair young people's physical and mental health," according to the ministry.

    The ministry will strengthen its inspection and regulation in a bid to clean up the chaotic livestreaming market and eliminate "negative social impacts," it said.

    Earlier this month, a young woman claimed on the livestreaming platform Huajiao that she had bypassed security to remain in the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, in Beijing after it was closed over the May Day holiday. The video was later proved to be fake and the host admitted on Weibo that the video was in fact filmed in Huairou, a Beijing suburb, The Beijing News reported.

    The incident "exerted negative social influence" and the people involved were detained and fined by police, the report added.

    This article was first published in the Global Times. 

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    Zaizhibo, Livestreaming, Livestream, crackdown, Ministry of Culture, China, Beijing
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