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Updated: Live streaming site AcFun shuts down for reasons unknown
Updated 28 November, 2017: The AcFun website is now back online. AcFun staff was quite ambiguous about the reasons behind the halt quoting technical issues. But according to online rumors, the company is having internal problems. Netizens have reacted strongly to the shutdown news since the streaming site has been in turbulence for quite some time, including turbulence among personnel, regulator punishments, and mass user abandonment.
AcFun, a Chinese live streaming and video sharing service dedicated to “Anime, Comics, and Fun,” has reportedly been offline for several days with users unable to log in (in Chinese).
According to AcFun’s statement, a cyber-attack might be the culprit behind the shutdown. However, Tencent News has reported that there is no DDOS attack on the site, nor issues with Ali Cloud, the cloud service used by AcFun. The website is apparently offline because of its own difficulties.
AcFun’s operations have been targeted by changing government policies for quite some time. It is one of the earliest video sharing platforms in China, founded in 2007.
AcFun currently does not hold proper certificates for providing audio-visual services. For this reason, the PRC State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) issued a streaming ban on AcFun as well as social platform Weibo and news website iFeng in June. The sites were also accused of screening politically-related programs that do not conform with state rules. At that time, the streaming service stated that it will review its mistakes and improve standards.
However, in September, AcFun was once again punished for providing audio-visual services with content harmful to public morality and other illegal acts by Beijing’s cultural administration. The company was fined RMB 120,000 and ordered to clean up its act.
During the June crackdown on live streaming services, AcFun also shuttered its entire TV show and film channel. The lack of government approval might have explained why AcFun suffered a bigger loss from this wave of media crackdown, according to experts.