Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Saturday, 23 January 2010

Chinese pop stars face $12,000 lip-synching fine

China has taken a tough line on lip-synching

Two Chinese pop singers have fallen foul of a lip-synching ban, facing fines of up to $12,000 (£7,400) for allegedly miming at a concert.

The firm that put on their 2009 show insists Yin Youcan and Fang Ziyuan are dancers and says it cannot find them.

Miming was banned in China after a girl was revealed to have lip-synched at the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

The actual singer, a seven-year old with crooked teeth, was not considered pretty enough to appear.

Yang Peiyi  (L) and Lin Miaoke
A miming controversy befell the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony

Instead a nine-year-old girl who was deemed to look more suitable mouthed along to a recording, charming a worldwide audience and earning the title of China's "smiling angel".

China was embarrassed by the revelations and authorities in the Chinese province of Sichuan now say Yin Youcan and Fang Ziyuan must pay the fines.

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".

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