Livestream over­sight gets stricter

Plat­forms should be free of un­healthy or il­le­gal in­for­ma­tion, au­thor­i­ties say

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­

China has in­creased its ef­forts to reg­u­late livestream­ing plat­forms in a move to pre­vent the in­ter­net en­vi­ron­ment from be­ing pol­luted by un­healthy or il­le­gal in­for­ma­tion, the na­tion’s anti-pornog­ra­phy of­fice said on Mon­day.

The Na­tional Of­fice Against Porno­graphic and Il­le­gal Pub­li­ca­tions, a joint team in­clud­ing China’s Cy­berspace Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Min­istry of Cul­ture, called for strength­en­ing the fight against vi­o­la­tors on plat­forms pro­vid­ing live broad­casts.

From Jan­uary to June, 73 livestream­ing plat­forms and 91,443 live stu­dios with il­le­gal con­tent were closed, while 1,879 live hosts were per­ma­nently black­listed, ac­cord­ing to the cy­berspace ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The of­fice also co­op­er­ated with pub­lic se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties to crack cases in which livestream­ing providers or live an­chors were sus­pected of spread­ing porno­graphic in­for­ma­tion.

In a re­cent case, po­lice in Zhe­jiang prov­ince broke up a gang led by two sus­pects sur­named Fang and Qi, who set up a plat­form in Fe­bru­ary and op­er­ated it over­seas us­ing fe­male hosts.

By May, more than 1.08 mil­lion peo­ple had be­come mem­bers and paid more than 7.28 mil­lion yuan ($1.1 mil­lion) to watch livestreamed pro­grams. There were more than 1,000 hosts.

So far, po­lice have de­tained 22 sus­pects, the of­fice said, adding that three peo­ple are still on the run.

Wang Sixin, a law pro­fes­sor at Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Uni­ver­sity of China, ap­plauded the ac­tion and the of­fice’s in­creas­ing ef­forts to reg­u­late livestream­ing plat­forms, “as they are en­forc­ing our laws and rules”.

In De­cem­ber, the cy­berspace ad­min­is­tra­tion is­sued a reg­u­la­tion on how to man­age live plat­forms. It said any­one us­ing the plat­forms to harm na­tional se­cu­rity, dam­age so­cial sta­bil­ity or spread pornog­ra­phy must be banned.

“The rules to reg­u­late the plat­forms are suf­fi­cient. What we need to do is im­ple­ment them ef­fec­tively,” Wang said. “Fight­ing prob­lem­atic livestream­ing plat­forms doesn’t mean re­strict­ing the in­dus­try’s de­vel­op­ment. It’s not a con­flict.”

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