Online Education or Game Marketing? Huya TV Removes Ads and Refunds Students in Response

Huya TV, a leading video game live streaming platform in China, has reportedly removed commercial elements in its online education section and refunded minors who have spent a large amount of money in the app, The Paper reported.

In early February, Huya TV created a free online education function “Study Together” for students who couldn’t attend classes amid the pandemic. The platform claimed that the intention was to boost accessible education amid Covid-19 and didn’t mean to promote games. To face tight deadlines, they’ve been constantly upgrading the platform and are still working on the education function.

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According to China Network Television, Huya TV was one of the platforms that promoted games to Chinese minors by providing free online education services. The app is heavily focused on games and socializing, which asks users’ game preferences as the first step before they can access its content. On the front page, “Study Together” was placed as the last tab after popular games, ACG, socializing and more; and there are eye-catching game ads, even in the classes. Those ads are linked directly to the games where people can easily play and pay by WeChat or QQ.

In early May, a seventh-grade student was found to have spent over 30,000 yuan on Huya TV. While the student was taking online classes on Huya, he made dozens of in-app purchases for a game and tipped the hosts.

Started in 2014, Huya TV now has 200 million registered users. In the past 10 quarters, it has been continually gaining profits. In Q1 2020, it reported revenue of 2.41 billion yuan, up 47.8% from the previous year.