Chinese Influencers Need ‘Qualifications’ to Discuss Law, Finance

  • Influencers in China must now have the right “qualifications” to speak about certain topics.
  • Live-streamers have also been banned from publishing content that “weakens” the Communist Party.
  • The wide-ranging rules come as China continues a crackdown on its booming live-streaming industry.

Influencers in China are now required to have “qualifications” if they wish to discuss topics such as law, medicine, and finance during live-


streaming

sessions.

On Wednesday, China’s National Radio and Television Administration published a set of new guidelines mandating live-streaming hosts to obtain “relevant qualifications” before talking about certain topics that require a “high level of professionalism.”

These include topics such as healthcare, law, finance, and education, the notice read, though it did not specify the type of qualifications needed.

“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,” the notice read.

The new rules promote a “positive, healthy, orderly, harmonious internet space,” it added.

The notice also lists 31 things live-streaming hosts cannot do, such as promote gambling, violence, or drug use.

Live-streaming influencers are also prohibited from publishing content that “weakens, distorts, or denies the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system,” it added.

Demonstrations of food waste and over-eating – such as the extreme-eating trend known as “mukbang” – are not allowed either, the notice continued.

The guidelines come amid China’s ongoing crackdown on the country’s booming live-streaming industry. According to estimates by consulting firm KPMG, the country’s live-streaming market was valued at approximately 1 trillion yuan ($ 156 billion) in 2020.

Many live-streaming hosts have become incredibly popular, amassing millions of loyal followers, which the authorities may view as being overly influential.

Earlier this month, one of China’s most famous influencers, Li Jiaqi, abruptly went off-air after he promoted a tank-shaped ice cream online a day before the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. Ironically, the incident may have unintentionally introduced the heavily censored historical event to Li’s 170 million followers.

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