Popular video-sharing services provider Bilibili plans to clamp down on the activities of virtual live-streamers seeking to generate more user traffic with “malicious content that challenges good morals and public order”, according to an announcement published on the company’s website on Thursday.
Shanghai-based Bilibili said it will target various pornographic content and other “malicious behaviour and remarks”, such as deliberately hyping up social issues or conveying bad values.
The 13-year-old company, which initially gained popularity as China’s online home for fans of anime, comics and games, has a specific page on its website where virtual live-streamers are found. Users interact with these anime-like virtual idols by sending so-called bullet comments, a Bilibili feature that enables one-line text messages to float on screen and vie for viewers’ attention.
Chen Rui, the chairman and chief executive of Bilibili, said in a speech in June last year that there were more than 32,000 virtual influencers conducting live-streaming sessions on the platform from June 2020 to May 2021, representing a 40 per cent year-on-year increase.
Bilibili did not immediately respond to a request for further comment on Friday.
In June this year, the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism jointly published an 18-point guideline outlining the qualifications online influencers must have to discuss certain subjects. That new regulation also listed 31 banned behaviours during live-streaming sessions.
Live streaming has become a significant business for Bilibili. This forms part of the company’s value-added services operation, which accounted for 40 per cent of its 5.05 billion yuan (US$797.3 million) total revenue in the first quarter of this year.