China begins clearing ‘chaos’ on livestreaming, short video platform

China’s Internet watchdog on Friday launched a two-month special campaign to clean up the “chaos” in online livestreaming and short video business, as part of a broader plan to promote what is considered appropriate and legal content.

China’s cyberspace administration said in a statement that “the focus will be on correcting the content of pornographic, ugly, weird, fake, obscene and (promotional) gambling.”

Last year, China launched a “special operation” to remove more than 1 billion online accounts and thousands of websites to create an Internet that reflects the country’s socialist values.

According to the statement, the two-month cleanup exercise will target multi-channel network (MCN) companies, short video and livestreaming tippings, while also targeting accounts that publish illegal content, according to the statement.

The addition of MCN agencies to the clean-up operation highlights the growing concern of cyberspace authorities with the companies behind most of the viral content seen on Chinese social media.

Such agencies also tend to operate multiple online influencers, who have come under investigation in recent months for issues such as tax evasion.

Livestreaming and short video platforms that fail to define the source and nature of the income of network anchors or account operators or declare their income for tax evasion will be targeted in a two-month sweep, Watchdog warned.

Thomson Reuters 2022

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