China is serious about cleaning up Jinri Toutiao and Kuaishou this time

China’s regulator for the media and entertainment sector, SAPPRFT (State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television), has just released a public statement (in Chinese) on their official WeChat account ordering Jinri Toutiao and Kuaishou to start cleaning up their sites and clamping down “inappropriate” content. The SAPPRFT said in the statement that the issue with vulgar content is regarded as “high importance” and that it has summoned and questioned the person-in-charge at both Jinri Toutiao and Kuaishou.

The government seems to be moving its crackdown on vulgar content up a notch. In the statement, the SAPPRFT criticizes both video streaming sites for letting vulgar content run rampant on their platforms and thereby ordering both Toutiao and Kuaishou to:

  1. To remove all content regarded as “vulgar, violent, bloody, sexual, and harmful.”
  2. Thoroughly examine all existing user accounts and, in the meantime, no new user accounts can be added to their sites. Both companies should take the necessary steps against the accounts that have violated the regulations, which may involve removing the upload function and permanently deleting the accounts, etc.
  3. Investigate internal teams that are responsible for reviewing and auditing the site content.
  4. Limit the number of videos uploaded to the site down to a scale that is proportionate to the site’s management capability. And no videos should be uploaded without being reviewed.
Screenshot of SAPPRFT’s statement.

Jinri Toutiao and Kuaishou have been on the government’s radar for quite some time now and have stepped on a few red lines. Last Demeber, Toutiao was criticized by for spreading vulgar and low-quality content and was shut down for 24 hrs. And just today Kuaishou had to issue an apology for failing to censor content featuring teen moms.