Austin Li Jiaqi is one of China’s biggest influencers. He was canceled after sharing a video to his 64 million followers that alluded to a touchy subject.
On Friday, his live stream abruptly stopped after he presented a cake in the shape of a tank. It has cookies for wheels and a chocolate stick as a gun.
The problem with the cake is that the night of the live stream marked 33 years since the Communist party deployed tanks upon the pro-democracy protests, known as Tiananmen Square massacre. China has been cracking down on anything in relation to the massacre, even removing phrases including “May 35” from internet searches, which is why his broadcast was pulled from the air.
“Li Jiaqi’s fiasco occurred because his team weren’t even aware of the June 4 incident in 1989 and thought it was any other ordinary day,” Eric Liu said. “This by itself highlights how successful China’s censorship apparatus is.”
Shortly after the video stopped, Li said it was a technical issue. Hours later, he issued an apology. Li, who typically goes live every day, has since missed scheduled events and hasn’t posted since the incident.