China’s cyberspace regulator said in a notice released on Friday that it will take steps to “rectify” the internet industry, citing the “chaotic” online celebrity fan culture as an example.
The Chinese Cyberspace Administration (CAC) has said that it will take action against the propagation of “harmful material” in celebrity fan clubs, as well as shut down discussion channels that promote celebrity scandals or “provoke unrest.”
Following the incidents involving a number of celebrities, notably Canadian-Chinese pop artist Kris Wu and Chinese actor Zhang Zhehan, Beijing has slammed fan culture and demanded its internet companies to exercise social responsibility.
iQiyi IQ.O, a video streaming network, and Weibo Corp WB.O, a Twitter-like platform, have both responded by making improvements to their offers.
According to the announcement, the CAC will strengthen how it regulates celebrity promotion online and will also prohibit lists that rate celebrities by popularity.
It will also take action to prevent netizens from being exploited financially by selling items or charging fans to vote for their favourite acts in online variety programmes. It also seeks to prevent minors from joining internet fan clubs.
Weibo removed a list that ranked celebrities by popularity earlier this month after state media suggested that social media platforms should limit the promotion of celebrity culture to protect minors.
iQiyi, a Chinese video-streaming site, declared on Thursday that it will no longer broadcast “idol competition” shows.
After an incident in which fans of the show were caught wasting milk in their bid to qualify to vote, the firm, China’s equivalent of Netflix, cancelled the third season of its popular talent show “Youth with You” before its finale earlier this year.