Chinese streamers need qualifications to talk about professional topics

Chinese streamers need qualifications to talk about professional topics
FILE PHOTO: Livestreaming sessions by Chinese livestreamers Li Jiaqi and Viya, whose real name is Huang Wei, (L) are seen on Alibaba’s e-commerce app Taobao displayed on mobile phones in this illustration picture taken December 14, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

Have you ever BS’d your way through a conversation so well that 10 minutes in, you realize you’re still talking and have no idea what you’re talking about? Well, according to the Chinese government, online influencers don’t have the liberty to do that anymore.

According to China’s State Administration of Radio and Television and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, content that requires a “higher professional level” (think medicine or law) will require credentials to be discussed. What this means is that influencers, including video game livestreamers and celebrities, will need to show their credentials to livestreaming platforms. Then, it will be up to those platforms to review them.

This is another step in a long line of Beijing’s efforts to crack down on China’s biggest tech companies like Tencent and Alibaba and clean up the trendy livestreaming industry. Over the past year and a half, the country has put in a number of new regulations on tech and streaming, such as banning children under 16 from watching livestreams after 10 p.m. and preventing kids from buying virtual gifts for their favorite streamers.

The two agencies laid out a general “code of conduct” for streamers, which includes preventing them from using Deepfake technology to tamper with party or state leaders and showing excessive food waste or excessively luxurious lifestyles, and it prohibits content that could be considered sexually suggestive or provocative.

So here’s a pretty simple translation: stay in your lane, streamers.