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Honey money, sex and crimes on the Internet

By Raymond Zhou ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-01-25 07:05:03

Honey money, sex and crimes on the Internet

[Song Chen/China Daily]

Technologies work wonders. A generation ago, who would have thought that anyone could launch a talk show and win millions of viewers? A television format had to go through a rigorous vetting process-and tons of money in investment-before it could be aired on the tube, and it still must. But now, all you need is a computer with a camera, or even a regular cellphone with Internet connection.

But what would one do if she (or he) could potentially talk to the whole world? It turns out sex sells-much more than simple talk. Many online talk shows have morphed into live striptease, or even worse.

In the wee hours of Jan 10, a chat room on Douyutv put out a live feed of its male host having sex with a woman. It attracted thousands of viewers. In-house vigilantes shut it down within minutes and the police were alerted. An investigation is ongoing.

Like many people who use WeChat and Weibo for most functions, I was totally oblivious of the tidal wave of so-called Internet live broadcast until very recently, which are chat rooms with live video operated by individuals and hosted mostly by game sites.

It is an offshoot of online gaming, which I knew has a market size three times that of China's film market in revenue but has never attracted the equivalent media attention.

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