The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), China’s internet regulator, unexpectedly opened an inquiry into a local branch of the massive live streaming company DouYu, which is funded by Tencent Holdings, earlier this year. Concerns over forbidden content, particularly pornography, were the focus of the investigation. The whereabouts of Chen Shaojie, the chairman of DouYu, have now come under scrutiny following a story by China’s state-owned media site, Cover News.
Chairman’s Vanishing Act
Although there is no clear confirmation of Chen Shaojie’s detention in the story, there have been rumors in the local media that this might be the case. His disappearance is thought to be connected to pornographic and/or gambling-related content on the streaming site.
Shaojie was “taken away” by Chinese officials, the report claims, and he is assisting with an ongoing investigation. His most recent public appearance was almost three weeks ago, so there are still a lot of unresolved concerns about the scope of the inquiry and if it is related to the CAC’s previous investigation.
A tendency has emerged in China about the unexplained disappearance of high-ranking officials. Important people have also momentarily vanished from the public eye, including Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba, and Bao Fan, the founder and CEO of China Renaissance.
DouYu reaffirmed in a statement that business is operating normally in reaction to the news of Shaojie’s disappearance. About the chairman’s whereabouts, however, the business provided no information and neither acknowledged nor refuted his participation in a Chinese probe that is still underway.
The last time Shaojie was seen in public was on a conference call in August when he talked about the second-quarter earnings of the firm. Both the general public and the streaming business are anxious for further information to surface because the circumstances surrounding his disappearance are still unclear.
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