(Yicai Global) Jan. 23 -- China's four biggest online video streamers are investigating content on their platforms portraying children's cartoon characters in disturbing scenes and are actively deleting the clips following a call from government authorities.
China's National Office Against Pornography and Illegal Publications ordered the country's main platforms including Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s QQ Video, iQiyi Technology Co., Alibaba Holdings Ltd.'s Youku and Sohu Inc. to look into and remove illegal content related to the scandal, which first emerged on YouTube last year.
The content includes animations showing violence, soft pornography, and even child abuse involving well-known children's cartoon characters. The scandal came to light in Europe and the US late last year when reports suggested children were viewing the content on YouTube by accident as a result of the platform's recommendation algorithm.
QQ Video has permanently shut down 121 accounts and banned the uploading of harmful content, it said on Jan. 21. The site has also censored over 4,000 keywords from searches and will continue to screen and remove the videos.