Erotic Webcam Scam; Illegal Live Streaming Bust

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erotic webcam bust
Photo courtesy Jiangsu Sina

The Hangzhou Public Security Bureau has put an end to a group of female college students, who were caught illegally live streaming erotic performances in exchange for money and gifts. It is estimated that the women earned upwards of ¥10,000 per month.

Police worked undercover as “watchers” of the broadcasts in order to collect evidence and verify the pornographic broadcast platforms. In addition this police made a further 93 arrests across 10 provinces during the “yellow streaming” bust, reports Sina News. In China, the colour yellow is often referenced in connection to erotic material, in much the same way the colour blue is employed in the West. Many of the arrests included those referred to as “family leaders”; men who organise the operation of the broadcast or recruit women as live stream “hosts” .

From the once highly respected concubine and Geisha, to hostessing and virtual girlfriends, busy men have continued to seek out a woman who is willing to provide company for a price. While being this “company” has become more and more revealing and risky, lust still remains a lucrative business for women.

Live streaming in China used to be an easy way to make big money. In 2016, the live broadcast industry was worth $9 billion, according to Statista. One American woman living in China, Lauren Hallanan, lived entirely off of the “gifts” she received broadcasting innocent daily activities on Chinese platforms Momo, Yizhibo, Meipai and Huajiao. Over the course of her year-long career as a live-streamer between 2016-2017, Hallanan gained 400,000 subscribed followers and earned anywhere from ¥20,000-30,000 per month.

In June 2017, State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) banned live streaming altogether. The ban was put into place on all live streaming content, whether explicit, erotic or not, due to the overwhelming amount of required censorship.