Douyin Suspends Ads After Martyr Misstep

Five internet companies have been reprimanded and ordered to train their staff in revolutionary history and core socialist values.

Short video app Douyin has suspended advertising operations following an online marketing gaffe last month.

The hugely popular app found itself in hot water when a web user discovered that it appeared in search engine results advertising jokes about Qiu Shaoyun, a revolutionary martyr who died in 1952. The incident came barely a month after China’s new law protecting the reputation of “heroes and martyrs” came into effect on May 1.

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Qiu was a Chinese soldier who fought in the Korean War. In the face of a raging fire, he reportedly chose to stay still and burn to death rather than move and betray the location of his comrades. School textbooks have since heralded Qiu as a hero and martyr.

Last month, however, web users found that when typing “Qiu Shaoyun” into search engine Sogou, the top result was a paid listing for Douyin titled “Jokes about Qiu Shaoyun getting burned.” On Saturday, Douyin, Sogou, and three digital consultancies connected with the search result were “invited to talks” with Beijing regulators and told to rectify and reform. Continue to read the full article here.


-This is original content by Sixth Tone and has been republished with permission.