The world is watching as a music academy in China was forced to close for breaching labor regulations after it fired three of its workers for not being able to get overtime pay.
The Shanghai Academy of Music, founded in 2011, had only been open for a year when the company’s CEO was forced out by the labor department.
The academy, which was founded by the late Liu Yimou, was also the birthplace of Chinese pop star Song Xiaoming, who passed away in 2016.
The new leadership of the Chinese Communist Party has yet to name a successor for Song’s family.
At least one of Song’s relatives, Chen Jianyuan, was forced from the academy in February 2018.
The Chinese government has also been cracking down on the business of entertainment companies in recent years.
Earlier this month, a court in China upheld the ruling of a Beijing court in December that forced a Chinese company to pay more than 10 million yuan ($14.5 million) in compensation to two former executives who were fired in 2018.
A second court in Beijing upheld a similar ruling on January 29.
The ruling by the China Labor Inspection Office also allowed a group of former executives to sue the company for negligence.
“It seems that the labor regulations have reached the point where they’re not allowing the academy to operate in a reasonable way,” said Li Yuzhong, an assistant professor at China’s Tsinghua University who studies the entertainment industry.
“They want to make sure the workers don’t get any overtime.”