Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 11:45 UK

Chinese singers fined for miming

Lin Miaoke, who mimed at the Olympics
Lin Miaoke mimed during the opening ceremony to the Bejing Olympics

Two Chinese singers have become the first in the country to be fined under laws banning lip-synching.

Fang Ziyuan and Yin Youcan were fined 50,000 Yuan (£4,760) after they were caught miming at a concert in Chengdu.

The pair say they were "only" backing singers and will struggle to pay the fine to cultural authorities.

The law was introduced in the wake of the 2008 Beijing Olympics after a girl deemed prettier mimed to vocals performed by another child.

'Real' singers

The other girl was not considered attractive enough to be the face of China during the opening ceremony.

The fined singers said the sanction was "unfair", while some internet discussion forums have said Chinese authorities are still allowing established stars to lip-synch at events.

Chengdu officials said the fine was justified and ruled that their microphones were not giving out any signals during the performance in September.

In December 2008, China banned lip-synching from the nation's biggest TV show, held to celebrate Chinese New Year.

The broadcasting regulator ordered organisers to pick "real" singers and songs with "healthy" lyrics.

The Ministry of Culture said in 2008 it would revoke the licences of professional performers who are caught lip-synching twice during a two-year period.

And at 2007's year's Spring Festival Gala, actress Zhang Ziyi was criticised for miming her way through her performance in the patriotic, star-studded TV extravaganza.

As a result, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued an order on its website to "choose performers with real singing ability".

Miming had previously been a common practice at Chinese cultural events.

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