Multiple top anchors reportedly stop livestreaming on DouYu after platform CEO arrested on suspicion of running gambling establishment
Published: Nov 26, 2023 02:19 PM
Chinese livestreaming platform DouYu Photo: VCG

Chinese livestreaming platform DouYu Photo: VCG

Several of the most popular anchors on the Chinese livestreaming platform DouYu appeared to have stopped livestreaming after the platform's CEO Chen Shaojie was arrested on suspicion of running an illegal gambling establishment and is under further investigation, local media reported Sunday.

The arrest of Chen has once again pushed the already troubled game livestreaming industry into a whirlpool of uncertainty.

Chinese media outlet, citing a source close to Douyu, reported that the arrest of Chen may lead to a group of top game anchors being implicated, mainly due to their involvement in gambling and money laundering. 

According to the news report, lawyer Fang Zinan from Global Kingway Law Firm stated that since allegations over Chen's gambling-related activity, many practices that previously considered to be within a grey area may not necessarily constitute gambling, but the risk of administrative penalties or even criminal investigations have certainly increased.

Another Chinese business news outlet, reported that one of the top anchors, Xuxu Baobao, left a message on a social media platform saying "I have something to deal with recently, temporarily not livestream." She has not livestreamed since November 18. 

Additionally, other top anchors including Doinb, Dalongmao, and Woshidakunkun have also stopped livestreaming recently, the news report noted. 

There is currently no evidence to prove any connection between their suspensions of livestreaming and Chen's arrest, and it is not yet to assert there is a "livestream suspension trend" on DouYu. 

However, there is an increasing crescendo of comments online questioning whether the suspension of some popular livestreaming anchors is related to Chen's gambling involvement. 

On November 22, the local public security authority in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province confirmed that Chen is suspected of operating a gambling den and has been arrested, with the case still under investigation. 

Chinese media outlet, citing livestreaming anchors, revealed that DouYu may have been aware of anchors conducting lottery cashbacks, with 50 percent of the anchors' revenue going directly to the platform. Former DouYu anchor Qian Xiaojia revealed in an interview that DouYu has issued statement that strictly regulated the language used by anchors during lotteries. The statement explicitly noted that the content of the statement "should not leave written evidence." 

According to a lawyer's opinion cited by the Chinese media outlet Yicai, the involvement of the platform's CEO in criminal activities indicates a fundamental problem with the platform's compliance control. 

As of press time, Douyu has not publicly responded to media reports' requests. 

In May, China's top internet regulator dispatched a team of officials to oversee rectification to address problems including pornographic and inappropriate content on the platform, with DouYu saying it will actively cooperate with inspection and guidance offered by officials from the local cyberspace administration of Central China's Hubei Province, and will carry out in-depth content rectification in accordance with regulatory requirements. 

Global Times