Release Date April 15, 2022
To the internet information offices and market regulation bureaus (departments, commissions) of each province, autonomous region, and directly governed municipality, and of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the State Administration of Taxation and each provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality tax bureau, and remote offices specially dispatched by the State Administration of Taxation:
In accordance with the arrangements for the Clear 2002 series of special actions, the Central Internet Information Office, State Administration on Taxation, and State Administration for Market Regulation are to carry out a special "Clear Special Actions on Correcting Disorder in the Online Live Streaming and Short Video Sector" for two months starting today.
I. Work Goals
Focus on all types of disorder in the online livestreaming and short video sector, analyze the underlying reasons behind it, and focus on resolving prominent problems such as poor information content presentation on platforms, unregulated operation of functions, and excessive spending on tipping. Innovate models and methods of regulation, build a comprehensive governance system for livestreaming and short videos, and tighten platforms' entity responsibility for managing information content. Coordinate industry development and regulation, persist in combatting all conduct in violation of laws and regulations, and promote the healthy and orderly development of the industry.
II. Main tasks
Make focusing on correcting disorder in the presentation of content that violates laws and regulations such as the "obscene, ugly, strange, fake, vulgar, and gambling" an entry point for further regulating key steps and functions, and strictly correcting prominent issues such as unregulated functions, "disorder from going viral", excessive tipping, illegal profits, malicious marketing.
(1) Strictly correct the issue of major functions being unregulated.
1. Fully regulate presentation on important pages such as launch screens and recommendations. Correct launch page's presentation of all types of borderline obscene, "light porn" and vulgar content; correct the issue of negative presentation of information on recommendation pages for channels such as '"hot topics", "making friends", "dance", "outdoors", and "nearby“ [quotes added for clarity]; and the presentation of joint play information on the recommendations pages for channels such as for team chat on platforms for livestreaming games.
2. Fully regulate the setup of channels and activities. Correct some live broadcast platforms' set up of vulgar and coarse channels such as "sexy" and "thirst"; strictly regulate some live broadcast platforms' establishment of activities such as lotteries, quizzes, kickbacks, and prize grabs, and resolutely combat the use of disguised gambling to induce users to participate in gambling.
3. Fully regulate interactive areas. Strictly correct the issue of vulgar punishments in [short-video] host battles; comprehensively clean up obscene and vulgar groups in the group chat areas of live broadcast platforms, and clean up illegal and negative information other links that are vulgar, related to drugs or gambling, illegal traffic drawing or diversion in areas such as dynamic interactions, public areas, and bullet comments.
(2) Strictly correct issues in account management
1. Strictly regulate "viral accounts". Promptly discover and strictly address accounts that publish content in violation of rules; enter 'viral' accounts that regularly publish content in violation of rules in order to maliciously attract viewers onto a platform "blacklist".
2. Strictly manage Multi-Channel Network [MCN] accounts. Strictly correct MCN's publication of borderline content and content where it is hard to distinguish truth from fiction in order to create "viral accounts"; correct MCN's conduct such as maliciously linking and interaction to draw traffic and malicious publication of homogenized copy to stir up interest; and urge MCN in truly performing their responsibility to manage the accounts they sign.
3. Strengthen whole-process management of accounts. Regulate registration management, setting limits on the number of livestreaming or short video accounts a single can register; regulate process management, establishing systems to manage accounts by category and grade, combatting and preventing falsification of the numbers of fans, views, likes, transactions, and other data; strictly correct conduct aimed at evading oversight such as switching names, resolutely curbing comebacks by tainted artists, and strictly correcting conduct to resurrect closed accounts such as cross-platform registrations and drawing traffic off-platform.
(3) Strictly correct the problem of excessive tipping for livestreamers
1. The issue of inducing tipping. Clean up enticements such as "adding funds to accounts to enter a group" or "rank pushing direct messages" in livestream rooms or comments areas; correct conduct of MCNs or online hosts pretending to be or operating as "fake fans" to get gifts or trick other users into following the crowd to give tips; correct conduct of requesting fans help by sending gifts, using verbal provocation and the like to create a tipping battle leading users to tip impulsively.
2. The issue of inciting tipping. Strictly regulate livestreaming platforms' setting up ranking lists based on the tip values; strictly regulate the issue of exorbitant gifts or unreasonably high limits on individual tips on livestreaming platforms, and strictly regulate livestreaming platforms' setting up of algorithm modeling based on tipping values.
3. The issue of tipping by minors. Fully clear out information such as on getting around addiction measures and restrictions in areas such as broadcast rooms and bullet comments; strictly combat the conduct of some hosts who know or should know that the other party is a minor, still coax them into tipping through the pretense of sending gifts and so forth; fully correct the issue of not being able to effectively resolve and promptly refund tipping by minors.
(4) Strictly govern profit-seeking in violation of laws and regulations.
1. The issue of false marketing promotions. Strictly combat false promotions in livestreaming and short videos such as "non-conforming pictures and text" or promoting goods that don't conform with the actual products; focus on correcting fabrications about products in livestreaming and short videos such as exaggerating product efficacy, transaction data, user ratings, and so forth about goods; and strictly correct acts of fraud involving prices in livestreaming and short videos, such as claiming 'this year's lowest price", or "lowest price in history".
2. The issue of tax avoidance. Strictly correct the issue of livestreaming or short video platforms failing to issue receipts to users who add to accounts or buy goods in accordance with regulations; strictly correct issues such as livestreaming or short video platforms failing to separate and distinguish between online hosts or account operators income sources and character in accordance with law, failing to perform tax withholding obligations in accordance with law, failing to report profit-seeking or income information of online hosts or account operators; strictly correct the conduct of network hosts or account operators such as evading personal income tax by means of other persons, MCNs, or third-party enterprises; and strictly correct the provision of information such as false promotions of tax services or misrepresentation of tax policies by tax intermediaries and others who provide tax planning services.
3. Taking advantage of specific groups of people to violate the rules for profit. Strictly correct the malicious exploitation of minors for profit by livestream rooms and short videos; strictly correct the malicious use of sick or disabled persons, lonely elderly persons, to promote goods for profit; strictly correct the wanton fabrication and exploration of emotional disputes and other false and sensational stories to attract the attention of users, especially the elderly, and then covertly conduct deceitful sales..
(5) Strictly correct issues of malicious marketing.
1. Fake personas. Strictly correct issues such as using tactics like making up stories or putting on a show to create celebrity and stir up traffic; strictly correct issues such as setting up personas to 'sell misery', eliciting sympathy to promote goods; strictly correct issues such as setting up successful personas that hold themselves out as sharing successful learning and professional experience but actually promote cold-heartedness and money worship.
2. Needing to get in on every trend. Combat conduct such as taking pictures of rescuers or those in distress at the scene of a disaster or accident, and seizing the opportunity to generate interest and sell the truth of the situation in the name of assisting the rescue; combat conduct such as chasing trending persons, taking pictures of them or with them in the background in order to draw traffic and seriously interfering with their normal lives; combat reverse trend-chasing by ignoring the facts and maliciously ridiculing and railing against hot events, figures, or topics, or even making something out of nothing and fabricating rumors.
III. Work Requirements
1. Greatly emphasize, and strengthen organizational leadership. Increase political stances, truly enhance ideological consciousness, political consciousness, and consciousness of action in completing work, carefully organizing and solidly advancing it.
2. Highlight the key points and take hold of implementation. Persist in being problem-oriented, keep an eye on key platforms, functions, areas, and accounts, and increase the force of oversight inspections, law enforcement, and punishments to ensure the effectiveness of the efforts.
3. Strengthen coordination and cooperate vigorously and effectively. Strengthen coordination and joint action, promptly discuss and research the resolution of new situations and issues, jointly pushing the special action further to do a good job.
4. Summarize experiences and establish long-term effective mechanisms. Promptly refine and summarize successful methods from the special action, actively explore new concepts and thinking for the industry regulation and management, and establish and complete long-term effective mechanisms for the healthy and orderly development of the industry.