Beijing steps up control of online influencers as culture ministry cracks down on talent agencies

By Tracy QuIris Deng

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is seeking to expand its oversight of multichannel networks, which help turn people into online influencers. With the draft regulation, the ministry has become one of several government agencies vying to control its own slice of the growing Internet economy. — SCMP

China’s culture ministry is seeking to expand its regulatory authority to livestreaming stars and other online influencers by targeting for the first time the agencies that help personalities monetise themselves online, a move that could shape the future of the booming livestreaming industry that so many Big Tech companies, from ByteDance to Tencent Holdings, have come to rely on for growth.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a policy document on Monday pledging to “strengthen the regulation of the source of online performance content” and “encourage the industry to develop in a healthy and orderly way”. The draft regulation, which has been made public to solicit feedback, is expected to take effect on Jan 1, 2022.

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