Live Streaming in China Now Requires Qualifications for Some Topics

The Chinese government is clamping down on live streaming by introducing an 18-point guide, 31 banned behaviors, and qualifications being required for discussing certain topics.

As SCMP reports(Opens in a new window), the 18-point guide was published by the National Radio and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism this week. It details a total of 31 behaviors that are not allowed during a live stream.

Those behaviors include deliberately “hyping up” sensitive issues, conveying an extravagant lifestyle to viewers (e.g. displaying cash or luxury goods), and using deepfake technology to manipulate images of state leaders or the government.

Even if you navigate the behavior restrictions, certain topics are off-limits without first having relevant qualifications. For example, if you want to talk about education, finance, law, or medication, be prepared to prove you are qualified. It’s unclear what qualifications count for each topic and how the government intends to enforce this rule.

The onus to enforce these new guidelines will ultimately fall on the live streaming services. Due to the nature of the restrictions, it seems likely many streamers will have their streams abruptly ended or face punishment after the fact for breaking the rules.

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For those that do manage to navigate the rules safely to become successful live streamers, are reminded in the new guide to be honest about declaring their income and pay the required level of tax.

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