Sing!China, a popular singing competition mired in controversy in recent weeks, has been suspended while problems reported by netizens and audience are being investigated.
The Zhejiang Satellite TV announced the suspension via its official Sina Weibo account on Friday.
On Sunday evening, the Zhejiang Media Group posted a statement on its website, saying that it would launch an investigation into its television series after a viral audio clip claimed the late pop diva CoCo Lee was treated unfairly on the Chinese talent show.
The media group pledged to strengthen supervision of the show in the statement, adding that it would also urge the program's producer — a company registered in Shanghai — to maintain fairness and justice so that every participant is respected.
The statement said Lee, who took her own life in July after struggling with depression for years, was a good mentor on the show, as well as a famed singer who people will remember.
The show mired in controversy after a nine-minute audio clip went viral online in which Lee angrily asked why one contestant faced elimination while another contestant with lower marks was given a second chance to appear in the next round.
The show's production team responded to the clip claiming some netizens had maliciously edited the audio. It strongly condemned the behavior, adding "it's disrespectful to the deceased and also damages to the show's image".
Sing!Chinais a singing competition that aims to seek new talent from professional and amateur ranks. It's a rebranded version of The Voice of China, a show that premiered in July 2012.