China penalized 10 of the country’s most popular livestreaming apps, suspending some of their operations in a renewed crackdown on fast-growing services backed by Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, reported Caixin.
Regulators singled out ByteDance’s Xigua and three apps run by Tencent-backed companies — Bilibili, Huya and DouYu International Holdings. Punishments ranged from halting new user sign-ups to suspending content updates for “main channels,” the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a notice posted Tuesday.
The watchdog said those services must rectify vulgar and other problematic content. The administration also said it blacklisted selected livestreaming hosts, without elaborating. NetEase’s CC Live and Baidu’s Quanmin were also among those named.
The government is intensifying scrutiny over the country’s internet giants as they deepen forays into content and as user contingents grow into the hundreds of millions. Livestreaming in particular has burgeoned as platforms including Bilibili and DouYu become vibrant social media forums that penetrate well beyond cities and into the countryside, enabling an explosion of communications that’s proven increasingly difficult to monitor. That in turn has fostered a growing cohort of online influencers with followings in the millions.