Pay close attention to China’s live-streaming scene, and you’ll notice that several stars vanished in 2018, leaving no trace on the platforms where they used to perform.

The reason for their disappearance is by no means mysterious—they either said or did the “wrong” things and were banned. This was the case for four of China’s most popular and highest-grossing live-streaming celebrities: Li Tianyou, Lu Benwei, Chen Yifa, and Yang Kaili.

Banned either directly by the country’s top internet content regulator, the Cyber Administration of China (CAC), or by their respective platforms in 2018, the four live-streamers were emblematic of the wild and largely unregulated growth the country’s live-streaming industry once enjoyed but probably not see again.

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Tony Xu

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com