Censorship in China

China’s online quiz shows must not promote greed, extravagance, media regulator says

Platforms should encourage healthy, beneficial knowledge that promotes core socialist values, watchdog says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 February, 2018, 2:30pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 February, 2018, 2:30pm

Online quiz shows that have surged in popularity in China must not promote extravagance or sensationalism and should instead spread healthy, beneficial knowledge, the country’s media and publication regulator said.

Up to 6 million people at a time log on to the free, live games on their smartphones to answer a series of rapid-fire questions in an elimination battle, with those remaining sharing the prize money.

The games have drawn some controversy, heightened by a broader crackdown on online content during the past year under President Xi Jinping, from live-streams and blogs to a campaign against internet addiction.

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The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said in a notice released late on Wednesday that the content of some of the quizzes was little more than clickbait, with “vulgar and tawdry” content.

These platforms should not promote “mammonism, extravagance, or sensationalism”, nor should they feature excessive marketing during shows, the regulator said.

Instead, they should encourage healthy, beneficial knowledge that promoted core socialist values, it said.

Both the platform and its anchors must have proper qualifications and be morally upstanding, the notice said.