Live streamers have become a huge part of modern media, demanding the attention of millions of followers every time they power up their web cams and hop on the mic. Now, China—a country with a famously complicated relationship with the freedoms foisted on it by the internet—is looking to apply state control to this new medium. Variety reports that the country’s Cyberspace Administration has announced plans to force live streamers to acquire licenses before broadcasting, and employ censors to ensure that on-screen commenters don’t violate any of the country’s laws.
Live-streaming is big business in China; according to Ad Age, the industry brought in $1.8 billion in advertising revenue over the last year. Chinese consumers are reportedly voracious for video content, featuring both celebrities and regular citizens, and, apparently, a lot of feints toward human sexuality. Durex brand condoms recently performed a stunt in which 50 couples were filmed doing non-sexual activities in bed, and the Cyberspace Administration banned “lewd banana eating” on stream earlier this year.
The regulations are said to be focused on curtailing “to curb vulgarity and unauthorized news distribution”; apparently, more than 300 groups are currently operating underground news broadcasts in the country. The regulations go into effect on December 1.