China’s Cyber Administration Punishes Live streaming sites for Spreading Vulgar Content

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has recently summoned and penalized the country’s major online live streaming platforms for spreading “vulgar” content, calling on these platforms to improve the quality of content, CAC said in a notice Tuesday on its official WeChat account.

According to the notice, the CAC conducted a comprehensive investigation into 31 major online live streaming platforms in China, aiming to urge these platforms to improve algorithm recommendations, strengthen streaming management, minimize the living space of vulgar content and continuously provide better cultural products and services for netizens.

The CAC said 10 leading live streaming platforms, including Bilibili, Douyu, and Tencent-backed Huya, have spread “vulgar” content and failed to effectively fulfill their corporate responsibility. These platforms have been asked to freeze main channel updates, suspend new user registrations and rectify content within a specified time frame.

The CAC also called to punish platform supervisors and put delinquent streamers onto the cross-platform blacklist.

The notice reprimanded some female streamers for wearing scanty clothing and male streamers for using foul language. Some platforms were using free online courses to promote video games, and some were showing pornographic content to induce users to browse and give rewards.

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The CAC was established in 2014 with President Xi Jinping serving as the chair. In recent years, it has heavily regulated China’s cyberspace and scrubbed content like violence and pornography from social media.

On May 22, 2020, the CAC launched an eight-month “clean” campaign, covering all online communication channels to clean up illegal content online. The campaign is a fundamental and long-term part of network management.