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China ‘livestream queen’ accounts disappear after record fine

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China 'livestream queen' accounts disappear after record fine

Huang Wei, known by her username Viya, is one of China’s most prominent livestreamers in an e-commerce sector that has boomed – Copyright CNS/AFP STR

The social media accounts of an influencer known as China’s ‘livestreaming queen’ disappeared on Tuesday, after she was ordered to pay a record $200 million fine for tax evasion.

Huang Wei, known by her username Viya, is one of China’s most prominent livestreamers in an e-commerce sector that has accelerated its rapid growth despite the coronavirus pandemic that took hold last year.

Boasting over 110 million followers on social media Viya reportedly sold products worth a total of 8.5 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) in just one evening during China’s recent Singles’ Day shopping festival.

But her star has fallen fast since authorities on Monday announced the 1.3 billion-yuan penalty — the biggest of its kind in Beijing’s sweeping crackdown on celebrities.

Viya’s accounts vanished from major online platforms on Tuesday, with her livestreaming page on the Alibaba-owned Taobao shopping site rendered inaccessible.

Searches for her account on the Twitter-like Weibo and Douyin — China’s version of TikTok — also returned no results.

Chinese censors closely monitor content on the country’s tightly controlled internet and frequently order the removal of accounts belonging to people who fall out of the ruling Communist Party’s good graces.

Beijing has launched a broad crackdown on tax evasion and perceived immoral behaviour in the entertainment industry that has targeted online influencers and celebrity fan groups.

The tightening has coincided with the launch of President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” drive to reduce economic inequality, partly by reining in excessive incomes in the entertainment and technology sectors.

Tax authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang said Monday that Viya “evaded 643 million yuan of taxes” between 2019 and 2020 by “concealing personal income and [making] false declarations of income.”

She had already been fined 530,000 yuan in June for breaching advertising laws, after some fans accused her of peddling counterfeit products.

Authorities also fined two other livestreamers $14 million last month.

Before her account was taken down, Viya apologised on Weibo for breaking tax laws and said she fully accepted the punishment.

“I am very remorseful and apologise to the public,” she wrote.

A series of scandals have taken down some of China’s biggest entertainers this year as part of the crackdown.

Chinese actress Zheng Shuang was hit with a $46 million fine for tax evasion.

At the time, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said it had “zero tolerance” for tax evasion and entertainers’ “sky-high pay”.


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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Shorts överstiger 50 miljarder dagliga visningar, Meta's Reels dubbelspelningar 02/03/2023

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

Både YouTube Shorts och Meta's Reels görs
framsteg inom den intensivt konkurrensutsatta videoshortssektorn.  

Under Alphabets resultatsamtal för fjärde kvartalet på torsdagen rapporterade VD Sundar Pichai att YouTube Shorts har passerat 50 miljarder
dagliga vyer. Det är en ökning från de 30 miljarder som rapporterades under första kvartalet 2022.

Det är dock fortfarande …



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Podcastmarknadsföringsstatistik för företag [Infographic]

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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

Podcaster har blivit ett alltmer populärt innehållsformat och tillhandahåller aktuellt material på begäran som täcker praktiskt taget alla ämnen du kan tänka dig.

I själva verket, enligt uppskattningar, över 130 miljoner människor kommer att lyssna på poddsändningar varje månad i USA i år, vilket också kan ge betydande möjligheter för marknadsförare att ta del av denna fångna publik och nå dem med relevanta annonser och erbjudanden.

Om du funderar på att satsa på poddsändning eller reklam för poddsändningar kommer detta att hjälpa. Teamet från Spiralytik har sammanställt en samling statistik och anteckningar om podcastkonsumtion, som kan hjälpa dig att tänka kring formatet.

Kolla in hela infografik Nedan.

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