September 12, 2023
BEIJING – A livestreaming sales platform in China apologized on Monday after one of its hosts said the number 918, a number often associated with the start of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), was “an auspicious number.”
The apology came after clips showing the remarks of the host from Oriental Selection circulated online.
The host, who went by the stage name Zhongcan, apologized during the livestream session on Sept 7 after being reminded by the audience of the remarks in question.
The number 918 is often associated with the Mukden Incident that took place on Sept 18, 1931. After bombing a section of Japan-built railway near today’s Shenyang, Liaoning province, the Japanese army framed it on China and used it as an excuse to launch an invasion of Northeast China. The incident marked the beginning of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
Oriental Selection said that the host made the remarks because the pronunciation of the digits sounds like “jiu yao fa,” which can be understood as a good wish for people to get rich. Meanwhile, the date was also the anniversary of the host’s first livestreaming session, and the host did not think of the war when he uttered the “auspicious” remarks.
It said that the host and the team have conducted self-reflections after the livestreaming session on that day, and the company will prevent similar incidents from happening again.
Oriental Selection was founded by New Oriental, an education company that is trying to extend its reach in the livestreaming sales sector.