- Fourteen major online content companies in China have signed a “Self Discipline Convention.”
- The companies are resolving to help the Chinese government keep its cyberspace “clean.”
- The list includes Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, and Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
Fourteen Chinese online content platforms have signed a collective declaration to enforce “self-discipline” in the country’s cyberspace.
The platforms include Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, and Weibo, the country’s Twitter-like platform. Together, they released on September 11 a list of measures in the form of a “Self-Discipline Convention” that vows to help the Chinese government enforce order online.
The companies will strictly regulate fans’ behavior and clamp down on malicious celebrity gossip, per the agreement.
The agreement also comes with broader censorship measures. The companies have agreed to prevent fans of celebrities from “inciting conflict,” raising funds to promote their favorite stars, and organizing unauthorized public gatherings. The consequences of fans violating these rules could lead to accounts, bulletin boards, and groups being restricted, muted, suspended, or deleted entirely, per the Self-Discipline Convention.
“The participating platforms reached a consensus that in order to maintain a clean cyberspace environment and strengthen the construction of online cultural content, companies should carry out more proactive self-discipline,” reads the agreement.
The full list of companies that signed the agreement includes major social networking platforms like Weibo, Douyin, and Kuaishou. It is estimated that Weibo had 566 million monthly active users in the second quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, Douyin averaged around 600 million daily active users in the first quarter of this year, with its rival Kuaishou netting more than 379 million daily active users in the first three months of 2021.
Video- and music-sharing platforms like iQiyi, Tencent Video, QQ Music, Youku, Kugou Music, Bilibili, Kuwo Music, Migu Video, and Migu Music also signed the agreement, as did news aggregator Today’s Toutiao and product review and popular blogging platform Xiaohongshu.
The companies listed did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
A clampdown on celebrity culture
The Chinese government has been cracking down for months on what it has deemed harmful internet culture, per Reuters.
The clampdown on China’s cyberspace began in June, when the country’s internet watchdog turned its attention to “toxic fan behavior,” announcing that it would make moves to regulate celebrity fan groups.
August and September saw a wave of new restrictions following a series of high-profile celebrity scandals. Online rankings of the nation’s top celebrities were removed after pop star Kris Wu was arrested in July on sexual assault allegations. Last month, Zhao Wei, one of China’s most popular actors, had her presence scrubbed from China’s internet in one night, with no explanation provided. Hashtags linked to discussions about Zhao were censored.
Also in August, the Chinese National Radio and Television Administration called for a boycott of “sissy idols” and told broadcasters to cut artists with “incorrect political positions” from their programs. Around 21 K-Pop fan accounts on Weibo — including those supporting Blackpink and BTS — were slapped with a one-month suspension last week for “irrational star-chasing behavior,” which Weibo says violated its community guidelines.
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