Cover Corp for better or worse, really has out done themselves this time. It’s one thing to have several controversial missteps along the way, but it is an entirely different matter when you find yourself wading into current day global politics and expect for everything to not blow up around you. I’ll give you a hint, it almost never ends well.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Cover Corp and Hololive went ahead and lit the fuse which has triggered a massive explosion that is sending shock waves throughout the once peaceful Hololive community and is shaking it to its very core. About 2 days ago, VTuber Akai Haato more commonly know by the nickname “Haachama” went over her analytics on stream and mentioned the name Taiwan in passing.
Since this stream was also being simulcasted on Bilibili, the Chinese version of YouTube, a portion of the Chinese audiences took offense and started to brigade both her and Kiryu Coco, whom allegedly later mentioned Taiwan during Asacoco to try and take the heat off of Haachama, for what they perceived as slight against the red state.
Two days later Cover Corp officially released their statement on the matter. In the end for reasons mentioned later in the article, Cover Corp decided it had no choice but to bend the knee to China and apologized for all that happened. As a result both Haachama and Coco have both been suspended for 3 weeks and both VTubers have been forced to make an apology. On top that Tokino Sora’s recent video has also been taken down and privated so that Hololive can edit out the offending word “Taiwan”.
Official English Translation:
Kiryu Coco and Aki Haato Apologies :
Tokino Sora Notice:
As if it could not get any worse, Cover Corp decided to release a rather politically charged statement on Bilibili in contrast to their English statement. Unfortunately for Cover Corp, they seem to have forgotten that the internet as well as overseas translators exist and as such within minutes the rest of their non-Chinese speaking community found out about this revelation. English Translation Summary:
I cannot begin to describe the nuclear fallout from all this. The backlash, Chinalive memes, and everything else that you can imagine is being thrown their way. It is unlike anything I have ever seen happen in the Hololive community, whether it be on reddit or on twitter.
Reddit:Even the Japanese and Taiwanese audiences are coming out against Cover Corp. It truly is a barrage from all sides.
The situation has since gotten much worse. Allegedly, the Bilibili staff and Chinese audiences are not satisfied with Coco’s punishment and have since issued an ultimatum. Either she is permanently fired from the company or Bilibili will completly cut off all access to Hololive China within the state. They are also allegedly sending her death threats and trying to dox her in order to permanently ruin her career. If Hololive ends up terminating Kiryu Coco per Bilibili staff demands, then I fully anticipate that Hololive will receive a reckoning like no other. She is after all their top super chat earner and for good reason.
English Translated Summary of Chinese Comments:
Tensions are boiling over into the subreddit as well. Not only is the Hololive subreddit now seemingly at war with the Bilibili subreddit, but many in the Hololive community are gearing up for another r/animemes-esque type war within the Hololive subreddit.Kiara of Hololive English is now also being targeted as well for termination by Chinese audiences for a simple tweet saying that she misses her seniors.People have also begun cancelling their VTuber subscriptions in protest over Cover Corps support of China.
To be fair both the VTubers and Cover Corp are stuck in a no win scenario. What I mean by that is that even though in their statement they say it was a violation to show their YouTube statistics, that may be far from the truth.
Many other Hololive VTubers in the past have allegedly shown and discussed their statistics without ramifications whatsoever, however at the same time Cover Corp has two very prominent fears on its mind. The first being the sustainability of its Chinese branch and the second being that several other of its older generation of Japanese VTubers get most of their super chats from Chinese audiences. So no matter what Cover Corp decided to do it, there was going to be severe consequences as a result no matter what.
This incident is shaping up to be one for the ages. Factions are beginning to form, the battle lines have been drawn and as such this is will likely to change, drastically, the way Hololive and Cover Corp are perceived moving forward.
With global tensions as they are Cover Corp is undoubtedly going to suffer severe consequences from both overseas fans as well as from Japanese audiences and possibly local officials, many of whom have started to take a strong stance against Chinese interference in their hobbies, businesses, and politics. There is also a potential fear that this move could also draw the attention of other local governments whom in recent months have begun cracking down on companies and services that pander to the Chinese government.