A Chinese video app banned a popular live streamer for 630 years after the platform announced it was hosting a fake engagement party, selling more than $ 7 million in products.
Yin Shihang, a 22-year-old streamer from Lishui, eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, was officially locked out of Kuaishou on Monday. The app is the main competitor of Douyin – the Chinese name for TikTok – which also banned it permanently this week.
A statement from Kuaishou said that Yin, who had 8.7 million followers, was streamed for five hours from 9:03 p.m. on Saturday to 2:23 a.m. the next morning. The show was billed as an engagement ceremony with his girlfriend, 21-year-old Tao Lulu, but it became a marketing and sales event.
The live streaming app accused Yin of “vulgar” performance and “hype” to sell commercial products. Kuaishou’s testimony also criticized him for false advertising, saying he received more than 230,000 complaints during the show.
He sparked interest in the event by announcing the engagement party the day before. Yin urged viewers to tune in at 9pm the following evening and said, “I’ll be streaming my engagement to Tao Lulu live.”
In the clip he asks his girlfriend: “Lulu, will you marry me?”
Tao, also a live streamer, replies, “We’ll find out tomorrow.”
Yin came to the staged party on the back of a pony, as pictures from the stream showed. The lengthy event was set up like a game show, with groomsmen having Tao, Yin’s ex-girlfriend, and a third woman wear veils – and he was given a chance to choose the right person.
Yin did not choose a Tao and the event went on with no official commitment. However, the live streamer and his team urged viewers to purchase products continuously.
A report from Guangzhou Southern metropolis daily said Yin’s stream reached 1.7 million viewers. There were more than 100 million searches related to the event that spilled over to Kuaishou’s competitor Douyin.
Statistics from the night showed that Yin had 46.11 million yuan ($ 7.16 million) in product sales. He made an additional 5 million yuan (US $ 780,000) in tips, the newspaper said.
According to the report, he sold 50,000 perfume sets, 21,000 smartphones and 20,000 counterfeit Rolex Submariner watches, among other things.
The newspaper said Kuaishou put a 230,000-day ban on its account, meaning it will be inaccessible for 630 years. Following the decision of its competitor, Douyin announced on Tuesday that Yin would be permanently banned from its platform for unspecified violations of the guidelines.
The Kuaishou statement said the video-sharing app began cleaning up the platform and removing accounts that were involved in fraudulent activity since last November.
According to reports from other Chinese news outlets, Yin and his girlfriend had caused hype about their “engagement” by repeatedly breaking up and making up.
An unconfirmed report said the man hired to play Yin’s father at the engagement party was 26 years old.