China has enacted new regulation for the live-streaming industry, listing 31 prohibited conducts and raising the bar for influencers to speak out on specific topics, in the government’s latest effort to regulate the booming digital economy.
The 18-point guideline, released Wednesday by the National Radio and Television Administration and the Department of Culture and Tourism, requires influencers to have relevant qualifications to cover some subjects, including law, finance, medicine and education discuss, although the authorities have not specified the necessary qualifications.
The 31 prohibited conducts during live-streaming sessions include posting content that weakens or distorts the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the socialist system, or the country’s reform and opening-up.
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Other prohibited behaviors include using deepfake technologies to manipulate the images of party or state leaders and intentionally “building up” sensitive issues and attracting public attention.
Live streamers are also prohibited from showing an extravagant lifestyle, such as showing luxury products and cash, the policy said.
An online store employee conducts a live streaming session at an enamel factory in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua alt=An online store employee conducts a live streaming session at an enamel factory in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua>
The new regulation comes as the live-streaming e-commerce industry undergoes rapid changes amid tightened controls and economic headwinds.
Some of the most popular live streamers on Taobao Live, Alibaba Group Holding’s live streaming e-commerce platform, have fallen out of favor for a variety of reasons, prompting brands to seek new ways to market their products. Alibaba owns the South China tomorrow post.
Austin Li Jiaqi, known as China’s “Lipstick King” for once selling 15,000 lipstick tubes in just five minutes, abruptly ended a live-streaming session on June 3 after reportedly sporting a tank-shaped ice cream cone. The tank image is a frequent target of Chinese censorship due to its association with the Chinese military’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, 1989.
Huang Wei, commonly known as Viya, was fined a record 1.3 billion yuan ($210 million) for tax evasion late last year and has since disappeared from public view. This comes after Zhu Chenhui and Lin Shanshan, two top influencers who were each fined tens of millions of yuan in November for tax evasion, also saw their social media accounts and e-commerce stores disappear.
Wednesday’s new guidelines emphasize that live streamers should report their income honestly and meet their tax obligations in accordance with the law.
The rules also direct platforms to remove the ability to publicly express their opinions, hold performances, create a new account, or move to another platform for public figures who have broken the law or have shown “no ethics”. switch.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative language coverage of China and Asia in more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP Facebook and Facebook page Twitter Pages. Copyright © 2022 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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