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INFLUENCERS

Chinese government moves to limit the power of some influencers

By our News Team | 2022

Influencers selling products through live-streamed events must show they have qualifications to discuss medicine, law and other key topics.

Civil society groups, governments and marketers themselves have long been concerned about the near-unfettered power of social media influencers on topics about which the have no expertise – medical and health advice being among them.

Now the Chinese government has moved to limit the power of influencers in that country by requiring live-streamers to have appropriate qualifications to talk about and promote products in fields such as law, medicine, education and finance. The new regulations were announced in late June.

Influencers

Photo by Hitesh Choudhary from Pexels

Live-streamed online events in which popular in influencers can sell millions of dollars’ worth of goods within hours are common in China, and it appears to be these activities that authorities want to control more closely.

Already live-stream influencers may not show food waste, excessive luxury goods or an extravagant lifestyle, and content should not be sexually suggestive or provocative. Any online activities that may relate to politics, government activities or official leaders have long been heavily policed.

Clean up China’s very popular live-streaming sector 

“The latest rules continue Beijing’s efforts to clean up its extremely popular live-streaming sector that involves some of China’s biggest companies – from Tencent and Alibaba to TikTok-owner ByteDance,” US news broadcaster CNBC reported.

Influencers are now required to show their appropriate qualifications to the live-streaming platform they use. Those qualifications must then be reviewed by the platform.

“Over the past 16 months, China has enacted new regulations across different areas of the technology sector in a bid to reign in the power of its once free-wheeling tech giants. There has also been a push for greater control over areas Beijing sees as influencing society including video games, livestreaming and celebrity culture,” CNBC said.

“Last month, Chinese regulators banned children under 16 years old from watching livestreaming content after 10pm and buying virtual gifts for influencers,” the broadcaster added.

According to a Chinese government notice: “Live-streaming hosts shoulder important responsibilities and play an important role in disseminating scientific and cultural knowledge, enriching spiritual and cultural life, and promoting economic and social development.” 

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