A host who is known for giving money to people in remote villages on a popular live-streaming website has been revealed to have been faking his acts of generosity.
The host on Chinese live-streaming site Kuai Shou, which claims to have 3 billion users, was shown staging charitable acts in the Da Liangshan area, a mountain chain in southwestern Sichuan province that has more than 50 thousand poor residents, the Chengdu Commercial Daily reports.
Video footage that was widely shared online shows two men distributing money and food to villagers including elderly people and children who are standing in two rows, with one of the men saying, “Keep shooting, stand in a row, let’s keep shooting!”, the report said.
The video later shows the man taking the money he gave to the villagers back from them.
Another video, which appears to have been uploaded by the host himself, shows him standing beside some elderly villagers and children, waving a stack of a reported 100 banknotes and saying, “To my fans, I will fulfil my promise of giving out 30,000 yuan to the 15 poorest families here in this village, each can have 2,000 yuan.” He then distributed the money to the people standing behind him.
It was reported that the two videos were filmed at the same place with the same people, but the former reveals the money was taken back.
The host, whose Kuai Shou ID is “Brother Jie”, admitted being the man in both videos and that he had taken the money back.
“I dare to admit that I take the money back, but dare the other hosts on this site who claim to be doing acts of charity as well?” “Brother Jie” was quoted as saying.
He said someone secretly recorded the video of him retrieving the money, which made him angry .
The host then recorded an apology video to his fans in which he drank a full bottle of detergent, and was rushed to hospital after doing so, the report said.
Hosts on live-streaming sites can make huge amounts with the rapid growth of the sector, as viewers reward their favourites with virtual gifts that can be exchanged for cash. Another host on Kuai Shou said he could make 20 million yuan by next May.
Credit Suisse Group analysts estimate the industry could top $5 billion by the end of 2017, driven by cheap bandwidth and a growing population of young mobile users, according to Reuters.
Internet censors stepped up regulations for the live-streaming industry on Friday, requiring the services to log user data and content for 60 days, as well as asking servicer providers to work with regulators to provide information on users who stream contentious content.