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China's TikTok removes thousands of accounts for flaunting wealth
Published on: 2021-03-03
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ByteDance has punished thousands of accounts on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, for flaunting wealth in short videos.

The Beijing-based company said it had removed more than 2,800 such videos and punished nearly 4,000 accounts since the start of the year, according to a post on its news aggregator Jinri Toutiao on Friday.

It listed several types of content that fall into the banned category, such as those deliberately displaying large amounts of cash and promoting “money worship”. Other examples include videos featuring “elites with rags-to-riches stories”, as well as those ridiculing people who are not wealthy.

Minors are also forbidden to share excessive amounts of luxury-related content or engage in other behaviours that are considered “irrational wealth flaunting”. Accounts that helped people create such content to attract eyeballs were also punished.

In one of the banned videos, a user was seen showing off a large amount of cash and luxury items such as iPhones, car keys and expensive watches, according to ByteDance. Another video showed a user throwing money. Both videos were removed and the related accounts were banned.

ina’s rapid economic growth over the past four decades raised living standards, but also coincided with a widening wealth gap. While the country’s Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality on a scale of 0 to 1, has shown a declining trend in the past decade, it has remained above 0.4 for years, according to official statistics. A level of 0.4 is usually regarded by the United Nations as a red line for inequality.

In 2019, China’s Gini coefficient, which stood at 0.465, was identical to the level in the United States recorded by the US Census Bureau.









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