China targets online celebrity news in escalating crackdown on fan culture

The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China on April 29, 2020. REUTERS / Thomas Peter

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SHANGHAI, Nov.23 (Reuters) – China’s cyberspace regulator has said Tuesdayit will strengthen control over how celebrity information is disseminated online, such as the publication of their personal data and the placement of their advertisements on websites.

The Chinese Cyberspace Administration (CAC) said this was aimed at creating a positive and healthy internet environment, describing the proliferation of gossip and star-hunting as impacting mainstream values.

He said he would create a “negative list” that would target information about online celebrities promoting bad values ​​such as ostentatious wealth as well as any attempt to encourage fans to spend money supporting them. celebrities.

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Celebrity mentions and advertisements should be clearly reported by platforms, the ACC said, and fan clubs should be managed by authorized agents.

In recent months, Chinese authorities have taken steps to ease what they have called the country’s “chaotic” celebrity fan culture, ordering broadcasters, online platforms and artists to help curb the phenomenon after a series of celebrity scandals involving tax evasion and sexual assault.

Online celebrity fan clubs had become a widespread phenomenon in China with local newspaper The Paper projecting that the country’s “idol economy” could be worth 140 billion yuan ($ 22 billion) by 2022. But they have also been criticized for their influence on minors and for causing social disorder.

When Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu was arrested by Beijing police in July on suspicion of sexual assault, her fan groups are speaking out on her social media. Most of these fan accounts, as well as Wu’s online accounts, were subsequently closed.

Chinese authorities have also ordered actors and other performers to follow moral guidelines or face bans.

Tuesday, China Performing Arts Association published a list over 88 people, he said, were banned from live streaming for reasons such as breach of ethics, including Wu.

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Reporting by Brenda Goh and Wang Jing; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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