So­cial me­dia, live-stream site used for il­le­gal trade of wild birds

Global Times US Edition - - TOPNEWS - By Xu Hailin

Af­ter sev­eral il­le­gal on­line traders of wild an­i­mals were busted in China, ex­perts stressed that so­cial me­dia plat­forms should take more re­spon­si­bil­ity to avoid be­ing used by law­break­ers for such mis­con­duct.

The Forestry Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Bureau in South­west China’s Yun­nan Prov­ince re­cently de­tained three sus­pects al­leged to have il­le­gally sold wild birds via WeChat and Kuaishou, an on­line short video plat­form, sav­ing 401 birds val­ued at more than 380,000 yuan ($57,100), the Xin­hua News Agency re­ported on Tues­day.

Separately, in a two-month cam­paign against the hunt­ing and trad­ing of wild birds in Harbin, North­east China’s Hei- longjiang Prov­ince, two peo­ple were ar­rested and 12 were fined.

Po­lice in Pucheng, East China’s Fu­jian Prov­ince also ar­rested three sus­pects for il­le­gally hunt­ing 376 wild birds.

In the Yun­nan case, sus­pects ini­tially re­leased dis­plays of the wild birds dur­ing live stream­ing on Kuaishou, then com­mu­ni­cated with buy­ers on WeChat to com­plete the trade, Xin­hua said.

Many stream­ers on Kuaishou have been ar­rested for hunt­ing, killing or sell­ing sev­eral species of wild an­i­mals, some of which are un­der State pro­tec­tion, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

The su­per­vi­sion of au­thor­i­ties has to reach ev­ery branch of the wild an­i­mal in­dus­try, not only on on­line trad­ing plat­forms, but also through com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels such as the WeChat plat­form, Zhu Wei, a pro­fes­sor at the China Univer­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Sci­ence and Law, told the Global Times.

Kuaishou an­nounced on Sina Weibo in April that it had per­ma­nently banned sev­eral ac­counts of stream­ers that vi­o­lated laws and reg­u­la­tions. The plat­form said it would strengthen ef­forts to su­per­vise and con­tinue to close such ac­counts.

Such plat­forms should also take a proac­tive role in as­sist­ing po­lice in in­ves­ti­ga­tions, such as of­fer­ing in­for­ma­tion in ac­cor­dance with the law, said Zhu.

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