Yang Kaili, a 20-year old live-streamer, posted a video of her humming marching music before reciting the first line of the national anthem while waving her hands as if conducting an orchestra. She then greeted her audience with: “Hello, good evening comrades.”
China has introduced a law on the past year, mandating up to 15 days in police detention for those who mock the “March of the Volunteers” national anthem.
“Ms. Yang was disrespectful to the dignity of the national anthem and invited disgust among citizens,” Shanghai police said.
Yang, who is also known as Li Ge, had about 44 million followers on platform Huya, a massive live broadcasting and videos streaming app, before her account was taken down.
She announced a public apology last week in a Weibo post, vowing to stop live streaming, to conduct “self-rectification” and “seriously watch patriotic publicity films”.
“I sincerely apologize for the fact that I did not sing the anthem seriously. The anthem is sacred and my behavior hurt everyone’s feelings,” she said.
Mixed reactions gathered on social media, a lot of people commenting in whether Yang deserved her punishment.
One of the Weibo users said, “How dare you joke about the national anthem, which seriously affects the social media atmosphere and national dignity and all networks should directly block you without accepting any apology!” That way harsh. While others were defending her saying, “You will have to get your eyes to well up when you sing it every time in the future” (to show patriotism).
In recent years, some football fans in Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, have booed the Chinese national anthem at matches in protest against what some in the city see as Beijing’s growing reach in its affairs. The national anthem law also covers the territories of Hong Kong and Macau.
Live streaming is one part of the hugs internet celebrity phenomenon in China, with millions tuning in to watch their stars do everything from singing and playing games to eating and partaking in crazy challenges.
According to a 2017 Renmin University report, internet stardom is now the most sought-after career prospect for millennials, and that’s a proven fact, considering the payoff.