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Lige opened Sunday's show by singing the first line of the Chinese national anthem. Bad idea. (Picture: Weibo)

Internet star banned from streaming after singing national anthem

Chinese celebrity streamer told to undertake patriotic education after “disrespectful” rendition of national anthem

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

She sang the national anthem on one of the country’s biggest live streaming sites. Within days, her account was banned.

That’s what happened to Chinese internet celebrity Lige, after video platform Huya suspended her channel this week. In a statement on Weibo, Huya says all her videos have been taking down -- and the star streamer will undergo “re-education”.
So what happened? The downfall of Lige, who reportedly had two million subscribers, began on Sunday. The original video has been taken down from Huya -- but in recorded footage circulating online, we can see Lige, wearing a reindeer headband, flailing her arms around as she gave a bubbly rendition of the first line of March of the Volunteers.
Lige opened Sunday's show by singing the first line of the Chinese national anthem. Bad idea. (Picture: Weibo)
An uproar ensued. Huya calls the national anthem solemn and sacred, vowing to “resolutely resist any disrespectful content”. Thousands of Weibo users piled on her. One commented, “Serves her right. Should block her forever.” Another wrote, “Even an uncultured person should know to respect the national anthem.”

Under Chinese law, anyone who deliberately sings the national anthem in a “derogatory or distorted manner” can be detained for up to 15 days and subject to a criminal investigation.

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Lige has apologized, saying she’ll watch a series of patriotic documentaries and undertake “education on political ideologies”. But as many before Lige have discovered, crossing the government comes with serious consequences.
In August, an online star on Huya’s rival Douyu was banned after it came to light that she made fun of the Nanking Massacre and Japan’s invasion of China. Her account has since vanished. And in May, Weibo deleted a popular comics account after it joked about a communist martyr.

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For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.