Chinese Live-Streamer Held For 'Insulting' National Anthem

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A Chinese video star was detained for five days and banned from all video platforms for live-streaming herself singing her country's national anthem while flailing her arms around, which officials deemed "disrespectful".

Yang's playful version of China's national anthem caught the attention of some netizens who reported her to the police.

Yang is the latest to fall foul of Beijing's increasing controls over people's behaviour online and she was detained under a law introduced last year under which anyone who maliciously modifies the lyrics, or plays or sings March of the Volunteers in "a distorted or disrespectful way in public", can be detained for up to 15 days or jailed for up to three years.

"The national anthem is solemn and should not be sung in a live-stream room", Yang wrote in an apology and self-criticism to her 1.1 million followers on Twitter-like platform Weibo.

In a video circulating online, 20-year-old blogger Yang Kaili was shown humming marching music before she started to recite the first line of the national anthem while waving her hands as if conducting an orchestra.

Huya, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in May, immediately blocked Yang after the incident and took all her videos offline.

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"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", police said in a statement posted to social media.

"Live-streaming platforms are not above the law - the law and moral standards similarly apply there".

Millions tune in to watch them, and viewers can send virtual gifts to their favourite live-streamers - who can then convert the gifts to cash. "We chose to shut down her channel. We are committed to spreading positive energy and. safeguarding the dignity of the national anthem".

The anthem law is one manifestation of how China's government under President Xi Jinping has emphasized nationalism and ideological discipline while cracking down on dissenting speech - or even jokes. "It's embarrassing. He attacks the anthem and violates the law, "someone else added". "I do not think he deliberately tried to offend the anthem", someone said in a comment, while another said, "It is wrong to be subjected to such a severe punishment".

"I sincerely apologise for singing the national anthem in an unserious manner while broadcasting. Sorry to the motherland, sorry to my fans, sorry to everyone on the internet, and sorry to the platform". The anthem is sacred and my behavior hurt the feelings of the world, "he said through Weibo, adding that he feels" shame "about the" foolish mistake "he did".

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