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Lianhe Zaobao: China Plans to Require Online Concerts to Be Licensed

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism has issued a draft of a new regulations about online concerts and performances. The plan will tighten up requirements for online live broadcasts and will mandate delayed live programs so that inappropriate moments can be blocked in a timely fashion. The planned regulations require that those engaged in the business activities of online performances (or programs) should apply to the local provincial cultural and tourism administrative department for an online cultural business license. To provide imported or international online performances, they should report to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for content review. They can provide content to consumers only after the content review has passed. For domestic online performances, the provider should report to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for record, within 30 days from the date of providing them to consumers. The plan also requires the online business to establish and improve the content management system, setting up a dedicated content management unit, and assign professional content reviewers to monitor the content as well as the consumer comments.

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) also reported that the licensing, content review and monitoring with delayed broadcasting requirements triggered a widespread criticism among Chinese netizens. With the Covid controls in place for the past three years, online performances and live programming became really popular among Chinese viewers. Many netizens complained, saying, “It will be too difficult just to listen to concerts.” “Live shows will no longer be live.” “Foreign enemy penetration is too strong. Why don’t we cancel everything.” and “As usual, gradually regulate first, then completely ban.”
(1) Lianhe Zaobao, September 26, 2022
(2) CNA, September 26, 2022