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Chinese Internet Star Taken Into Custody For Mocking National Anthem

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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Gavin Hanson Contributor

A Chinese livestreaming star has apologized after being detained for the way she sang the Chinese national anthem on a live broadcast on Oct. 7, according to BBC.

Yang Kaili, 20, known as Li Ge, was followed by over 44 million people on her Huya account — a Chinese version of Twitch.tv — before she was taken into custody for flailing her arms to the national anthem in a manner authorities saw as disrespectful.

Since the livestream, in which Li Ge waved her arms to mimic a conductor during the first verse of the anthem, Huya permanently banned Yang from the platform. Huya since released a statement saying, “Huya has decided to ban her channel. We are committed to spreading positive energy and … safeguarding the dignity of the national anthem,” after confirming that, in its view, Yang had violated the National Anthem Law.

The National Anthem Law, which came into effect in September 2017, forbids singing the national anthem in a “distorted or disrespectful way,” according to a Monday BBC report. Violators of the National Anthem Law may be sentenced to a maximum of 15 days and be held criminally liable, according to China’s state-run news outlet, New China News Agency. (RELATED: China Legalizes Re-education Camps For Uyghur Muslims)

“The national anthem is a symbol of the country, all citizens should respect [it] and safeguard [its] dignity,” the Shanghai Police Department said in a statement, also adding, “Live-streaming platforms are not above the law — the law and moral standards similarly apply there.”

Yang took to Weibo, China‘s most popular answer to Twitter, after her imprisonment to say she would “stop all live broadcasting work,” and to apologize for her actions.

“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,” Li Ge said on her account, which boasts over a million followers.

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