'Night in the Museum' live-streamers detained

Hu Yijing China Plus Published: 2017-05-19 19:17:38
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A woman and two accomplices have been detained by the authorities for pretending to live-stream a video blog at night from Beijing's Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City.

Local police say they broke security laws and damaged the reputation of the museum.

On May 1, 2017, a woman claimed to be livestreaming from what she claimed was the famous Palace Museum, with the Dragon Throne and golden screen visible in the background.

A screenshot showing a woman livestreaming at night, from what she claims is the famous Palace Museum, with the Dragon Throne and golden screen visible in the background. [File photo: ynet.com]

A screenshot showing a woman livestreaming at night, from what she claims is the famous Palace Museum, with the Dragon Throne and golden screen visible in the background. [File photo: ynet.com]

Earlier in the day, she had told viewers to a life streaming show from the Palace that she planned to stay overnight and broadcast again.

The alleged "nocturnal Forbidden City live streaming" soon went viral, gathering a big audience, but was quickly closed down by live streaming platform Huajiao, who thought the broadcast's content might possibly be illegal.

The Palace Museum subsequently confirmed that the online video was not shot in the museum, after checking surveillance camera footage.

Shan Jixiang, president of the Palace Museum, releases the museum's surveillance camera footage, May 5, 2017. The footage proves that the woman left the museum on 16:56, May 1, 2017. [Photo: fawan.com]

Shan Jixiang, president of the Palace Museum, releases the museum's surveillance camera footage, May 5, 2017. The footage proves that the woman left the museum on 16:56, May 1, 2017. [Photo: fawan.com]

On May 4, 2017, the museum reported the case to the local security authorities, saying that the fabricated broadcast had seriously damaged the reputation of their security forces.

As a result of the publicity, the woman expressed her apologies in a Weibo micro-blog post on May 4, and another during a live streaming on May 5, in which she described the whole thing as just a "prank".

The woman apologies for fabricating "nocturnal Forbidden City live streaming" during another broadcast on May 5, 2017. [Screenshot: qq.com]

The woman apologies for fabricating "nocturnal Forbidden City live streaming" during another broadcast on May 5, 2017. [Screenshot: qq.com]

She admitted livestreaming from the Palace Museum during the daytime, and promising her fans that she would try to stay overnight without being discovered by security staff, but said that she failed. 

Instead of admitting her failure, she went to a film and TV studio in Beijing's Huairou District to broadcast, and lied to viewers about her location. 

After an official investigation, local police announced on May 18, 2017, that the woman, 22, identified as Zhou, along with her two accomplices, identified as Li and Yang, 27 and 44, co-conducted the fabricated "nocturnal Forbidden City live streaming" to promote an app.

After their detention, the three suspects, pleaded guilty to fabricating facts & disturbing public order, and have been punished according to security management laws, including detentions and financial penalties, according to a statement released by local police.

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