How Will China’s Latest Cyber Laws Impact Luxury?

What Happened: The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is stepping up its protection of minors by launching a number of actions including the prohibition of minors under the age of 16 appearing in live broadcast and short video platforms. The news has been met with overwhelming positivity and the hashtag #strictlyforbidchildrenunder16toappearinlivevideostreams# is trending on Weibo — earning 250 million views already. The new moves will also attempt to clear up cyberspace from violent or sexual content and the CAC has fined several platforms deemed to be transgressive including Taobao, Weibo, QQ, Little Red Book, and Kuaishou. 

The Jing Take: China’s big tech crackdown continues; however, this time efforts have been recalibrated around the pertinent issue of the exploitation of minors — a subject the West is still grappling to regulate and legislate for. This detailed action clamps down on activities such as inducing underage viewers to tip online as well as the banning of certain online gaming advertisements. Needless to say, this will have dramatic implications for platforms which rely on their younger users. 

The rise of young social media influencers has also been scrutinized. In February, Douyin banned almost 4,000 users for deliberately showing off their wealth, known as 炫富 (xuanfu). Little Red Book followed suit by updating its community guidelines to ban ostentatious displays of wealth among users. This ruling goes even further by punishing child celebrities for showing off wealth and worshipping money. In light of these shifts, luxury brands should take a cautionary note. Perhaps marketing more responsibility to younger consumers, especially Gen Alphas, is now called for — or potentially face the consequences.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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