On April 17, 2018, local media reported that China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism had inspected over 4,900 live-streaming apps and removed 370 from app stores for failing to comply with regulations. The ministry also blacklisted 14 companies for operating under fraudulent licenses and ordered the shutdown of 57 live-streaming apps produced by these companies.

Larger live-streaming platforms such as Huajiao, Douyu, Huya, 6.cn, Panda.tv are currently undergoing investigation for hosting content promulgating “violence, pornography, gambling, superstition, and other values harmful to public morality.” Regulators are also looking into these platforms for possible infringement of other industry codes, including the requirement for live-streaming hosts to register under their real names and identities. So far, the ministry has identified 190 cases of violation among the 30 audited live-streaming platforms.

In addition to live-streaming apps and platforms, 50 online games are also being inspected by the ministry as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to police China’s gaming industry and protect Chinese children from Internet addictions. Games that fail to implement procedures to curb juvenile addiction, neglect to enforce real-name registration among its users, or contain content that “celebrates violence, incites crime” and include “illicit advertising” will be severely punished, according to the ministry’s inspectors.

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Pang-Chieh Ho

Pang-Chieh Ho is currently an editor at Digg and a columnist for SupChina. She previously worked at China Film Insider as a newsletter editor and her work has appeared on Screen Comment and VCinema.