Chinese short video platform such as Douyin and Kuaishou are being criticized for featuring video hosts who make and distribute counterfeit products on their videos, Tencent News is reporting.

Some video hosts on platforms such as Douyin, and Kuaishou are forming a black industrial chain: They openly demonstrate the process of homemade lipstick and foundation and then affix brand names, leaving their WeChat account details to receive money to send out goods. In addition to DIY brand-name cosmetics, when users search for keywords such as “luxury” and “prestige watches” on these platforms, they can find plenty of contents that show off fake luxury goods. Some suspected fake product videos even received these platform’s recommendations.

Douyin video creator demonstrating fake products (Image Credit: Tencent News)

In recent years, the Advertising Law and relevant Internet laws have become increasingly stringent, forcing e-commerce platforms to abide by the rules. For example, a few days before November 11 in 2017—when Chinese shoppers make new records of year-on-year swelling shopping volume—the standing committee of the National People’s Congress introduced new provisions that ban false or misleading advertising about a product’s features, functions or quality, forbid falsifying sales data, user comments and awards.

Seeing how authorities are heavily regulating these e-commerce platforms, the sellers have transformed into “Weishang (微商, WeChat merchant)” and pushed social marketing for product sales. The cosmetics industry is one of the areas that Weishangs are quickly monetizing on their own branded cosmetics. Because of the huge traffic on these platforms, there was also a blind spot for supervision for entertainment and social platforms compared to e-commerce.

Under Advertising Law (广告法), the short video platforms should understand that its commercial nature is a user traffic, and should follow advertisement publishing rules. It is also expected that Bureau of Commerce and Industry will follow up with them in a timely manner.

Douyin stated that it will mark out those video creators advertising fake products based on its system identification, and manual auditing. They also said that they will stop recommending users suspected of counterfeiting or violating other rules on the platform.