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China Moves to Regulate Live Streaming

The Chinese government has moved to severely curtail the fast-expanding live streaming sector through new regulations and licenses.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said on Friday that live streaming hosts will have to censor content before it is broadcast on the Internet. It will also require hosts to register business and personnel details and those carrying news or entertainment will have to apply for licenses. Platforms carrying on-screen text or other feedback must employ censors to ensure that users’ comments confirm with the law.

The regulations take effect from Dec. 1.

Live streaming has boomed in China, driven by sports, news-casting and self-made Internet celebrities. Many of the celebrities are women who perform in exchange for gifts.

The move is intended to curb vulgarity and unauthorized news distribution. “The regulations are to strengthen online streaming management and promote the healthy and orderly development of the sector,” a statement from the CAC said.

The regulator also said that there are more than 300 platforms currently operating as unauthorized news broadcasters.

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