×

China Shuts Down Bytedance’s Parody Website

Chinese authorities have permanently shut down jokes and parody application Neihan Duanzhi. The operation is part of the Toutiao news aggregation group, that is backed by Bytedance Technology.

Zhang Yiming, Toutiao’s CEO published a letter of apology. He said that he was “sincerely sorry for publishing a product that collided with core Socialist values.” The app had some 17 million users, and was alleged to have carried material that was vulgar or pornographic.

The move came only a day after four other apps were suspended by regulators. The moves are part of a widening crackdown against online pop culture content that is deemed vulgar, challenges authority or presents distorted versions of history. Musicians were recently ordered to cover up tattoos.

The other suspended apps were Tiantian Kauibao, ifeng news and Netease News, as well as Toutiao’s mobile app. Toutiao, which has close to 100 million monthly active users, will not be allowed on download sites for three weeks.

Last week the State Administration for Film and Television criticized Toutiao and Kauishou for their vulgar content. It ordered them the reduce the volume of uploads, suspend new consumer registrations, and to review existing users. Toutiao said that it removed over 10,000 pieces of content in response.

In March, regulators struck out against fan-generated content. They banned parodies and adaptations based on copyright material.

In addition to the cluster of news aggregation services in China, Bytedance  also owns social video app Musical.ly. Bytedance officially closed its acquisition of Musical.ly in December in a deal reportedly worth up to $1 billion.

Under Bytedance’s ownership, Musical.ly will continue to operate as an independent platform, headed by co-founders Louis Yang and Alex Zhu, while collaborating with its parent. Musical.ly has announced the creation of a $50 million in a fund to support its users (or “Musers” in the company’s lingo) with scholarship programs and co-development deals with users and media partners.

More Digital

  • Discovery Names Andrew Georgiou Eurosport and

    Discovery Taps Andrew Georgiou as Eurosport and Sports Rights Boss

    Andrew Georgiou has been appointed president of Discovery-owned Eurosport. The sports channels and streaming service has been without a chief since Peter Hutton left for Facebook. Georgiou assumes a wider role than Hutton, running Eurosport as well as overseeing sports rights and marketing across Discovery. It has been moving aggressively into the sports sector, licensing [...]

  • Can a Studio Make Movies for

    Listen: Can a Studio Make Movies for VR?

    STX Entertainment is best known for movies like “The Upside” and “Ugly Dolls,” but it also has a division dedicated to creating virtual-reality movies like the recent action short “The Limit.” STXsurreal is working on over a dozen films in a variety of genres, according to its founders, Rick Rey (pictured, right) and Andy Vick. [...]

  • Kathryn Friedrich

    Condé Nast Entertainment Taps Ex-RYOT Studio Head Kathryn Friedrich for New Role

    Condé Nast Entertainment hired Kathryn Friedrich, a YouTube and Google alum who most recently headed Verizon’s RYOT Studio, to the newly created role of EVP, operations and general manager. Friedrich started in the new gig this week, reporting to Condé Nast Entertainment president Oren Katzeff, who joined the company last year from Tastemade. Based in [...]

  • NRA TV

    NRA Scuttles Original Production for Streaming-Video Site

    The NRA will shut down production of new content for its streaming-video NRATV outlet, The New York Times reports. The report said the gun-rights lobbying organization may continue to run older content on the broadband outlet, but it will no longer feature Dana Loesch and other regular hosts in live programming. The demise of programming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content