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Time to Play: 2016 Taipei Game Show

One of biggest gaming events in Asia has kicked off in Taipei. Game developers around the world introduce their games to Asian game market at the Taipei Game Show. Despite the excitement of new games and pretty girls, not all netizens seem happy with this year’s show.

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One of biggest gaming events in Asia kicked off in Taipei. Game developers around the world introduce their games to the Asian game market at the Taipei Game Show. Despite the excitement of new games and pretty girls, not all netizens seemed happy with this year’s show.

The first international video game trade show to kick off in 2016 was the Taipei Game Show (  台北国际电玩展). The five-day event began on January 29th at the Taipei World Trade Center Hall in Taiwan. The show is attended by 300 vendors from over 20 different countries.

Organizers of the event are hoping to attract over 500,000 visitors, making it one of the biggest gaming events in Asia. ETtoday reported that the show had already attracted 170,000 visitors on January 31st.

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Taiwan is currently among one of the top five countries on Google Play’s revenue ranking: around 72 percent of Taiwanese smartphone users play games. According to Newzoo, Taiwan ranks number two in the world when it comes to casual and social gaming. With nearly ten million gamers, Taiwan is a large player in the global gaming industry.

The Taipei Game Show has been organized by the Taipei Computer Association (台北国际电脑协会) since 2003. The show is a host to many exhibitions that give visitors a first look at future games and gaming technology.

Besides the exhibitions, there are also many gaming competitions taking place. The most talked about competition at the show is the Intel Extreme Masters (英特尔极限高手杯大赛), a huge tournament series for the world’s best gamers. The championship sees competitors from Norway, France ands South-Korea go head to head with each other in a game of Starcraft 2.

The main highlight at this year’s show is a showcase of upcoming virtual reality games and virtual gaming equipment. This also includes the announcement of new VR game titles and VR headsets by HTC, Samsung and PlayStation. Game developers from Taiwan announced three titles for the PlayStation VR. The most promising of which is Winking Entertainment’s ‘The Telltale Project’ (揭秘计划). The game is a space-based adventure that sends players on a journey to discover the secrets of Mars (see trailer below).

This year also marks the 3rd Indie Game Festa (独立游戏专区) and is held in conjunction with the Taipei Game Show. The festival seeks to help indie game developers from around the world promote their games.

The Taipei Game Show is a much-talked about topic on Weibo over the past week, where the event has its own official account. But other accounts, like the Luxury Platform or Sina Games (1.8 million followers), also write about the latest news on the event.

The show is not only known for the gaming highlights; most vendors have their own showgirls to promote the latest games and tech products. Although showgirls have been banned from some (car) events in Mainland China, they are still an important visual feature of the Taipei Game Show. “I got to photograph so many pretty girls at the Taipei Game Show!” one Weibo netizen happily says, sharing his pictures of the showgirls at the event.

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In the past few years, the Taipei Game show has gained a lot of criticism from netizens. Not because of the showgirls, but because the event has become focused too much on mobile gaming instead of console gaming. “They should change the name to Taipei Phone Game Show,” one Weibo netizen comments.

Despite the occasional criticism, the Taipei event still has enough to offer for any game and tech lover out there – and if not, there will always be pretty girls.

By Chi Wen

Images:
-http://cn.engadget.com/2016/01/30/tgs-2016-preview/

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

Chi Wen is a freelance translator and writer who lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Besides translating and writing, he also teaches English as a Second Language to high school students. Chi is a self-proclaimed geek with a love for video games.

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China Celebs

Weibo Shuts Down Rumors of Tong Liya’s Alleged Marriage to CMG President Shen Haixiong

The censorship surrounding the Tong Liya story almost drew more attention than the actual rumors themselves.

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The famous actress and dancer Tong Liya (佟丽娅, 1983) has had an eventful year. After hosting the CCTV Spring Festival Gala in 2020, she performed at the CCTV Spring Festival Gala in February of 2021 and in May she announced that after seven years of marriage, she finalized her divorce with actor and director Chen Sicheng (陈思诚).

Tong Liya is of Xibe ethnicity and was born in Xinjiang. The former beauty pageant and award-winning actress is known for her roles in many films and TV series, such as those in The Queens and Beijing Love Story. She also starred in the 2021 Chinese historical film 1921, which focuses on the founding of the Communist Party of China.

This month, online rumors about Tong flooded the internet, alleging that she was recently remarried to Shen Haixiong (慎海雄, 1967), the deputy minister of the Party’s Central Propaganda Department and the President of the CMG (China Media Group), which includes CCTV, China National Radio, and China Radio International.

Some of the rumors included those claiming the actress was previously Shen’s mistress, or netizens connecting Tong Liya’s relations with such an influential and powerful person to her role at the previous CCTV Spring Gala Festival.

But these rumors did not stay online for long, and the quick censorship itself became somewhat of a spectacle. As reported by China Digital Times, the topic ‘Tong Liya’s Remarriage’ (‘佟丽娅再婚’) was completely taken offline.

Following the rumors and censorship, it first was announced that Tong reported the online rumors about her to the police, with the hashtag “Tong Liya Reports the Case to Authorities” (#佟丽娅报案#) receiving over 310 million clicks. On December 23rd, the hashtag “Beijing Police is Handling Tong Liya’s Report” (#北京警方受理佟丽娅报案#) went viral online, attracting over 1.7 billion (!) views on Weibo within three days.

The Beijing Haidian police statement on Weibo is as follows:

In response to the recent rumors on the Internet, the public security authorities have accepted Tong Liya’s report, and the case is now under investigation. The internet is not a place beyond the law, and illegal acts such as starting rumors and provoking trouble will be investigated and punished according to the law.”

The statement led to some confused responses among netizens who wanted to know more about what was actually reported and what it is the police are exactly ‘investigating.’

On Twitter, Vice reporter Viola Zhou wrote that the censorship “angered many young people,” some of whom lost their social media accounts for discussing Tong Liya’s second marriage: “It’s now prompting a mass pushback against the potential abuse of censorship power.”

In an attempt to circumvent censorship, and perhaps also ridicule it, some netizens even resorted to morse code to write about Tong Liya.

One Weibo post about the issue by Legal Daily received over 3000 comments, yet none were displayed at the time of writing.

The case is allegedly still being investigated by Beijing authorities.

By Manya Koetse

With contributions by Miranda Barnes.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Celebs

China’s Livestreaming Queen Viya Goes Viral for Fraud and Fines, Ordered to Pay $210 Million

Viya, the Queen of Taobao, is under fire for tax evasion.

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Viya, one of China’s most well-known and successful live streamers, is trending today for allegedly committing tax fraud by deliberately providing false information and concealing personal income.

The ‘Taobao queen’ Viya (薇娅, real name Huang Wei 黄薇) reportedly committed tax fraud from 2019 to 2020, during which she evaded some 643 million yuan ($100 million) in taxes and also failed to pay an additional 60 million yuan ($9.4 million) in taxes.

The Hangzhou Tax Administration Office reportedly ordered Viya to pay an amount of over 1.3 billion yuan ($210 million) in taxes, late payment fees, and other fines. On Monday, a hashtag related to the issue had garnered over 600 million views on Weibo (#薇娅偷逃税被追缴并处罚款13.41亿元#).

Viya made headlines in English-language media earlier this year when she participated in a promotional event for Single’s Day on October 20th and managed to sell 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) in merchandise in just one live streaming session together with e-commerce superstar Lipstick King.

China has a booming livestreaming e-commerce market, and Viya is one of the top influencers to have joined the thriving online sales industry years ago. When the e-commerce platform Taobao started their Taobao Live initiative (mixing online sales with livestreams), Viya became one of their top sellers as millions of viewers starting joining her channel every single day (she livestreams daily at 7.30 pm).

With news about Viya’s tax fraud practices and enormous fines going viral on Chinese social media, many are attacking the top influencer, as her tax fraud case seems to be even bigger than that of Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (范冰冰).

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing went “missing” for months back in 2018 when she was at the center of a tax evasion scandal. The actress was ordered to pay taxes and fines worth hundreds of millions of yuan over tax evasion. The famous actress eventually paid approximately $128,5 million in taxes and fines, less than Viya was ordered to pay this month.

Like Fan Bingbing, Viya will also not be held criminally liable if the total amount is paid in time. This was the first time for the e-commerce star to be “administratively punished” for tax evasion.

Around 5pm on Monday, Viya posted a public apology on her Weibo account, saying she takes on full responsibility for the errors she made: “I was wrong, and I will bear all the consequences for my mistakes. I’m so sorry!”

It is not clear if she will still do her daily live stream later today and how this news will impact Viya’s future career.

Update: Vaya’s live stream was canceled.

Update 2: Vaya’s husband also issued an apology on Weibo.

Update 3: Taobao has suspended or ‘frozen’ (“冻结”) Vaya’s livestreaming channel. Her Taobao store is still online.

By Manya Koetse

With contributions by Miranda Barnes.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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