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China crackdown on livestreaming on social media sites

Weibo, a micro-blogging site, said it received a notice from SAPPRFT, short for State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. Weibo was asked to cease all live-stream broadcasts.

In a statement, Weibo said the agency requested that local authorities take measures to suspend a number of companies’ video and audio services. This is because of lack of internet audio and video program transmission license. Weibo was one of the companies named.

The SAPPRFT said that most of the audiovisual content didn’t accord with national regulations or the political situation of the times. They added that it’s social commentary was propagating negative speech.

Chen He Di, 27, is an online gaming blogger and live streamer who has hundreds of thousands of followers on Weibo. He said the ban is going to cause suffering for live-streaming media companies. He added that it could cause live-streamers to lose their main or only source of income.

Di added that only a small proportion of live-streaming content needs to be supervised because it is inappropriate. He said it is only a very tiny proportion.

The ban is expected to have a devastating effect on the live-streaming market, which is booming in China. The live-streaming market grew by 180% in 2016, and video game streaming was the largest part of the market to go.

It’s not clear when the live-streaming services will come down from the sites.

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