Gen Z fashion drawing site bbbfashion.com has been shut down in China after reports that staff had been exposed to bacteria, according to local media reports.
“The incident is a serious matter and the company will take all necessary measures to investigate the incident,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement to CBC News.
The site was launched in 2011 by China-based internet giant Tencent, which has become a major force in Chinese internet marketing, including buying popular brands like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M.
“It is also unfortunate that a number of employees at the site have contracted infection,” the spokesperson added.
Chinese officials have stepped up inspections of internet sites operating in the country after a surge in cyber attacks on major websites in the past year.
Last month, the country’s central government shut down the popular site WeChat, a messaging app owned by Tencent.
Earlier this year, the government banned the popular messaging app WeChat in China, while it also closed some of its most popular social networking services.
In a statement, Tencent said that it was “deeply sorry” for any “damage caused” by the “incidents.”
It also said that a “systemic” review was underway to determine “the root cause of the incident.”
A statement from Tencent’s office in Shanghai, however, said the site’s “core values are the same as ours and our team is cooperating fully with authorities.”
The spokesperson did not offer further comment.
“We are currently working with the authorities to identify the cause of this incident,” the statement said.
In November, the U.S. government banned Tencent from operating its own messaging app in the U-S.
due to concerns about the company’s “corporate culture” and “corrupt practices.”
It said that the company is required to cooperate with U.N. sanctions and that the U,S.
has “a clear interest in a stable China and stable Internet.”
The Chinese government has also accused Tencent of “corroborating false news” and violating laws against “economic espionage.”