Two Japanese virtual YouTubers (VTubers) were suspended by their employers on Sunday after mentioning Taiwan and showing the national flag during a livestream, stoking controversy that was inflamed further when it was discovered that their management company issued distinct apologies in Japanese and Mandarin.
While reading YouTube analytics over livestream on Thursday and Friday last week, Hololive VTubers Kiryu Coco and Akai Haato named Taiwan as contributing a high percentage of viewers.
Users on the Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili were quick to criticize the two and report their accounts, prompting Hololive’s parent company, Cover Corp, to suspend the streamers for three weeks until Oct. 19.
Photo: screengrab from YouTube
In its Japanese statement, which was also translated into English, Cover cited “divulging confidential YouTube channel analytics information” and “using said data for their own purposes” as reasons for the suspensions, in addition to making statements “that were insensitive to residents of certain regions.”
It also vowed to improve “compliance training” for its talent, although it added that it did not find either to have acted deliberately.
The firm posted a separate statement in simplified Chinese on Hololive’s Bilibili channel in addition to a translation of the original statement apologizing for its “incorrect content” and adding that the incident does not reflect the views of the company.
“Cover has always respected Chinese sovereignty and territory ... and resolutely supports the one China principle,” the statement said.
The absence of “one China” from the Japanese version did not escape the attention of Chinese Internet users, who have left more than 1.8 million comments on the two statements and are calling for a boycott of the company’s other channels.
Cover’s suspension of the entertainers angered other netizens, who denounced the company via comments and memes.
“So you really want to give up the rest of the world for China’s 0.02 percent market share? That’s just absurd,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Some threads discussing the incident on the official r/Hololive subreddit were removed, drawing more anger from fans.
The videos have been taken down from YouTube and Bilibili.
Hololive is one of the biggest agencies specializing in VTubers, or streamers who adopt a character persona and use an animated avatar instead of a video feed.
The company in November last year opened an account on Bilibili, where it has more than 4 million fans, Hololive said.
The domestically designed Teng Yun 2 drone passed development milestones over the weekend, flying for more than 10 hours straight and circling Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in the longest flight of an indigenous uncrewed combat aerial vehicle. Developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, the Teng Yun 2, or “Cloud Rider” (騰雲二型), recorded its longest flight yet over the weekend, after a three-hour test flight last month, followed by five and seven-hour stretches in the air. The Teng Yun 2 No. 1812 departed from Chiashan Air Base in Hualien County at 6:46pm on Saturday and flew on a
OVER THE HUMP: In a seven-day period ending on Wednesday, the nation reported 366,628 new cases, down 19 percent from the 451,358 reported in the previous week The nation might further open up to more arrivals in the next two months, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 48,283 new local COVID-19 cases, down from more than 50,000 in the previous few days. Taiwan on Wednesday last week introduced a plan to allow up to 25,000 arrivals per week as part of efforts to gradually reopen borders, which includes reducing mandatory quarantines for inbound travelers from seven to three days, followed by four days in “self-initiated epidemic prevention.” The quota covers inbound Taiwanese arrivals, businesspeople and migrant workers. Former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday said
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said it is monitoring Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ship movements near Taiwan, after the Japanese Ministry of Defense disclosed that Chinese vessels made a rare voyage between Yilan County and Japan’s Yonaguni. The Japanese ministry on Wednesday said that two Chinese navy ships on Tuesday diverted from their usual route of entering the Pacific Ocean via the Miyako Strait and for the first time traveled there between Yilan and Yonaguni. The Japan Self-Defense Forces said that it picked up the presence of China’s Type-056A Jiangdao-class corvette 220km north of Yonaguni at 9am on Tuesday. The
A slew of new measures are to take effect on Friday, including nationwide bring-your-own-cup discounts. The new rule requires chain beverage shops to offer discounts of at least NT$5 (US$0.17) to customers who bring their own cups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said. The policy would apply to more than 50,000 chain retail locations, including beverage shops, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. It aims to cut down on waste from single-use plastic cups, more than 2.2 billion of which were used in Taiwan in 2020, the agency said. For convenience, the EPA said it has asked retailers to display signs stating how