China orders live-streaming platforms step up oversight of underage users

  • Platforms such as Douyin need to forcibly turn off streams by 10pm for users subject to parental controls and strengthen management during peak hours
  • The move is part of the government’s crackdown on the booming sector
Reuters |

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China has ordered local streaming platforms to crack down on accounts belonging to people under the age of 18. Photo: Shutterstock

China on Saturday ordered internet platforms step up their governance of how users under the age of 18 use their live-streaming services as part of an ongoing regulatory crackdown on the booming sector.

Platforms need to increase their control and stop underage users from tipping livestreamers or becoming livestreamers themselves without consent from their parent or guardian, the National Radio and Television Administration said in a statement.

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They will also need to strengthen their management of such shows during peak hours, and live-streams will need to be forcibly turned off by 10pm local time for users of their parental control “youth mode” functions, it added.

The orders come after the mainland launched a two-month special campaign to clean up “chaos” in online live-streaming and short video businesses last month, part of a broader plan to promote what is deemed as appropriate and legal content.

Among the country’s most prominent live-streaming platforms are ByteDance’s Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, Kuaishou, Alibaba-backed Bilibili, as well as Huya and Douyu, which are both backed by Tencent Holdings.

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