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Livestreaming banned at railway station after followers cause chaos

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A once-deserted railway station in East China’s Heze City has returned to calm after authorities banned livestreaming which had transformed the station into a bustling hotspot due to the unlikely success of a local livestreamer.

The station in Heze, in East China’s Shandong Province, issued a statement on May 20 suspending cultural or entertainment activities to create a conducive environment for students for their college entrance and senior high school entrance exams.

The next day, most livestreamers at Heze South Railway Station had moved to a new location.

The ban came after a social media frenzy over a 25-year-old local man, Guo Youcai, who catapulted to fame after livestreaming a cover of the 1990s hit song “Promise” on Douyin.

Guo Youcai released a music video on Douyin on May 9 which, so far, has received 3.04 million likes.

During his livestream, Guo styles his hair in a retro slicked-back fashion and wears a 1990s suit. He sings with a hoarse voice.The livestream video resonated with many viewers for its “nostalgic” style, and the Douyin account @郭有才菏泽树哥 quickly surged in popularity.

On May 10, his social media account had only 190,000 followers. By May 22, despite having posted only six cover videos, he had already amassed 11.883 million followers. His cover of “Promise” garnered over 2.937 million likes alone.

Many Internet celebrities have been livestreaming from Heze South Railway Station.

Livestreaming banned at railway station after followers cause chaos

Ti Gong

Guo Youcai livestreams from Heze South Railway Station in front of a huge crowd.

The sudden surge in Guo’s popularity turned the railway station into a mecca for livestreamers, Internet celebrities, and fans from across China. The station’s square saw over 400,000 daily visitors before May 17, all hoping to witness Guo’s performances or capitalize on his influence through their own livestreams.

The scene at the station became increasingly chaotic, with numerous streamers donning eccentric costumes, performing cosplay, fashion shows, and dances.

However, the festive atmosphere soon descended into disorder as some livestreamers resorted to erotic poses and vulgar language, drawing widespread criticism online. Netizens mocked the spectacle as a “demonic dance,” and many condemned the rampant Internet celebrity culture.

Livestreaming banned at railway station after followers cause chaos

“The phenomenon of livestreaming really needs to be rectified. Everyone wants to become an Internet celebrity and get rich overnight,” one comment read. “If this continues, people’s egos will become inflated, and they won’t be able to do things or live their lives grounded in reality.”

Local residents also expressed frustration. Li Han (a pseudonym), a ride-hailing driver, complained about the severe traffic congestion caused by the influx of visitors. “Traffic congestion is the most annoying thing for us drivers,” Li said, predicting that Guo’s popularity would be fleeting.

In response to the chaos, local authorities intervened. On May 20, the station issued a statement suspending all cultural and entertainment activities at the station to ensure a conducive environment for students preparing for upcoming exams.

By May 21, the station had nearly returned to normal, with most livestreamers relocating to the National Flower Expo Garden.

Authorities also addressed instances of vulgar livestreaming and reprimanded offenders.

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