IN efforts to further curb the kinds of content that Chinese citizens are able to consume, the government is working to ban three of the country’s largest live-streaming services.
As reported by TechCrunch, the broadcasts are being targeted due to “unsuitable political content.” Microblogging platform Weibo wrote in a statement that the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China (SAPPRFT) has asked the social network to cut all live broadcasts.
“The SAPPRFT had recently requested the local competent authorities to take measures to suspend several companies’ video and audio services due to their lacking of an Internet audio/video program transmission license and posting of certain commentary programs with content in violation of government regulations on their sites, and Weibo is named as one of these companies,” the social network wrote.
— China Film Insider (@china_film) June 26, 2017
TechCrunch notes that perhaps the bans were “inevitable” due to the lucrative nature of live streaming as a medium. According to Chinese tech blog TechNode, the live-streaming market in China grew by 180 percent last year as companies raked in US$3 billion in revenue. With such popularity comes regulation, which is why the government is cracking down now.
Earlier this month, regulators had enforced a new set of stringent cybersecurity laws. A week following the newly implemented rules, Reuters reported that the government “forced” WeChat and Weibo to shut down 60 celebrity gossip social media accounts.
At that time, a post on the Beijing Cyberspace Administration’s social media account noted that websites should “actively propagate core socialist values, and create an ever-more healthy environment for the mainstream public opinion.”
As a part of the new cybersecurity laws that came into effect on June 1st, websites are required “not to harm the reputation or privacy of individuals.” As celebrity gossip sites are extremely popular in China, some of which claim to exist to keep the rich and famous accountable, the likelihood of more being shut down in the near future is high.