China Requires Live Streamers To Have Academic Qualifications

Online influencers in China might soon have to hit the books and get a degree to talk about certain topics in live streams.

Credit: CGTN

According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese Communist Party is now requiring local influencers to hold “relevant qualifications” to talk about topics like law, education, finance and medicine.


Influencers must show their qualifications to the platforms they use. These platforms will then review the qualifications and decide whether to allow the influencers to continue to talk about these topics, which have been cited as requiring a "high level of professionalism”. However, it wasn’t specifically stated what type of qualifications are 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," reads a joint statement published by China’s State Administration of Radio and Television and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Tuesday, 27 June.

Credit: Wix

The statement also outlines other types of content that live streamers are prohibited from talking about or publishing. For instance, there can’t be any promotion of gambling, drug use or violence in their videos. They additionally are banned from hosting "mukbang" streams, a popular trend where hosts consume large quantities of food while interacting with their audience.


Other things influencers and streamers cannot do on camera include flaunting wealth and extravagant lifestyles, wearing provocative attires and tampering with party or state leaders’ appearances using deep fake technology.


The new guidelines come amid China’s ongoing campaign to promote a "positive, healthy, orderly, harmonious internet space". The live stream industry appears to be the latest target, with reports claiming the market was valued at approximately one trillion yuan (US$156 billion) in 2020.


The state has also cited the popularity and influence of these online personalities, some of which have millions of followers, as being unhealthy and unproductive to President Xi Jinping’s "common prosperity" drive, a political idea that looks to alleviate systematic inequalities in the country.

 
  • China is now requiring its local influencers to hold “relevant qualifications” to talk about topics like law, education, finance and medicine.

  • Influencers must show their qualifications to the platforms they use. These platforms will then review the qualifications and decide whether to allow the influencers to continue to talk about these topics, which have been cited as requiring a "high level of professionalism”.

  • The new guidelines also prohibit live streamers from flaunting wealth and hosting "mukbang" streams, among other content.

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