China announces plans to regulate livestreaming sales industry

China is regulating livestreaming marketing in the country as some livestreamers have been accused of misrepresenting products or faking sales numbers.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement last week that under new rules currently being developed, livestreamers will be required to provide real-name identification and social credit codes to the internet platforms that they use. After that, the platforms will in turn have to submit regular reports to local authorities.

These livestreaming platforms will also need to monitor the content regularly and stop any illegal advertising. Meanwhile, unless they obtain a guardian's consent, livestreamers will need to be over 16 years old. The platforms will have to establish a credit assessment list for livestreamers and blacklist anyone who violates laws or other rules.

Plenty of behaviours will also not be allowed by the authority as well. For example, promoting pyramid schemes, bad social habits, or falsifying page views will be prohibited. 

The recent act was not China's first step toward regulating livestreaming and e-commerce marketplaces. Earlier this month, China drafted a antitrust guideline to regulate monopolistic practices by internet platforms, such as demanding vendors to transact only on one platform exclusively, or providing differentiated prices to customers based on their shopping history and profiles. These practices could potentially be outlawed in the future according to guidelines released by the State Administration for Market Regulation.

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