Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Chinese online star detained for five days for ‘insulting’ national anthem

Chinese online star detained for five days for ‘insulting’ national anthem

Schoolchildren in Shanghai sing the national anthem in their playground in September 2017.

To help regulate the internet and scrub it clean of "vulgar" material, China passed a separate cybersecurity internet law that went into effect previous year, which severely restricts online content.

The punishment was issued against 20-year-old Yang Kaili for beginning a segment by waving her arms as an orchestra conductor while singing a few words of the song for roughly 10 seconds during a livestream video.

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Although Huya, the site Yang used to live-stream her singing, has removed the original video and banned Yang's account, the video has been preserved elsewhere. "Huya respects the anthem and firmly protects its dignity", the company said in a statement. Under the law, anyone caught singing the anthem in a "distorted or disrespectful way" can be jailed for up to 15 days, according to the BBC.

China enacted and amended the China's National Anthem Law last year, which allows for imprisonment for up to three years for "deliberately distorting the lyrics or music of the national anthem of the People's Republic of China, singing the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory fashion, or insulting the national anthem in other ways".

"The national anthem is an embodiment and symbol of our country, and all citizens and organizations should respect and defend the honor of the anthem", Shanghai police said on Saturday.

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"Live streaming sites are not outside the law - the law and moral standards similarly apply there", police said via their verified Weibo account. A software developer just became the latest victim of China's VPN crackdown She said she would stop all broadcasting work and perform self-reflection.

Meanwhile, all her videos have been deleted on TikTok, another popular streaming app through which she first rose to fame, gaining 44 million followers. Calling her actions a "stupid mistake", she apologized "to the motherland, to the fans, to web users, and to the platform". "My behavior deeply hurt everyone's feelings". In her statement, she said she owed her success to the policies of the ruling Communist Party. "I will carry out self-rectification, deeply reflect upon and fully accept ideological, political, and patriotic education, and diligently study the National Anthem Law of China and relevant regulations", she promised. Yang had two million followers on the platform, before being suspended in the aftermath of her performance.

One of China's most popular internet stars has been put behind bars and has seen her blossoming career ruined following a "disrespectful" rendition of China's national anthem.

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