Shanghai has shut down the accounts of over a thousand of live streamers as part of the Chinese government’s extensive overhaul of live streaming platforms.

On Tuesday, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau held a press conference to publicise its progress since July, when a crackdown on online broadcasting platforms was announced.

live streaming site bilibili
Live streaming site Bilibili. Photo: Screenshot.

According to mainland news outlet NetEase, the bureau announced that it had performed real-name verification for around 450,000 live streamers, in addition to shutting down over a thousand. To broadcast, live streaming hosts must verify their identity with ID cards or other documents containing a clear headshot. Other users on the platforms must use their mobile phone numbers to register.

In July, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that it would perform a thorough overhaul of online live streaming platforms. The move was intended to crack down upon three types of live streaming sites, according to an announcement from the ministry.

live streaming
A broadcast on live-streaming platform Douyu. Photo: Screenshot.

The first type related to platforms intended for people to report information or voice concerns. The second type were those featuring pornography, gambling and other illegal activities. The third type related to companies which had disorderly management or who had failed implement safety measures.

The manager of live streaming operations from popular video sharing site Bilibili told mainland financial news outlet Caixin that according to police requirements, sites are required to take action within one minute after they have been notified of illegal content and must have handled the problem within five minutes.

live streaming
A host on live-streaming site Douyu. Photo: Screenshot.

He said that live streaming broadcasts usually have a delay of five to 20 seconds, so sites can cut broadcasts or lock them if they find pornography, before the content reaches users’ screens.

In September, China’s top media regulator issued a directive stating that licenses are required for those who wish to broadcast live. Both live broadcasting platforms as well as those who wish to broadcast on such platforms will need a license in order to continue operating, according to an announcement published by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

catherine lai

Catherine Lai

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.