China to ban minors from tipping live streamers after 10 p.m.

Beauty blogger Austin Li Jiaqi speaks with a dog on her lap during a live broadcast on Taobao e-commerce platform on October 26, 2018 in Shanghai, China. Li, 27, nicknamed “Lipstick Brother”, is China’s hottest online beauty blogger.

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China’s broadcasting regulator on Saturday introduced new rules banning minors under the age of 16 from watching live content after 10 p.m.

The proposed rules also require online live-streaming platforms to prohibit minors from tipping live streamers, such as the common practice of buying them virtual gifts that can be exchanged for cash.

China’s State Radio and Television Administration said in a statement that these live-streaming platforms have led minors to engage in such tipping practices, which has seriously damaged their physical and mental health. .

China’s massive live-streaming market has grown rapidly. The real-time online shopping phenomenon – also called “live commerce” or “live e-commerce” – took off in China after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

These platforms sell goods directly to consumers through what can amount to hours of live video. Along with individual personalities, vendors also include tech giants such as Alibaba’s Taobao Marketplace, Kuaishou, and Pinduoduo.

Last year, these companies reported an explosion in livestreaming activity.

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