This Top Influencer Tells Us the Truth About the New KOL ‘Rules’ on Weibo

Chinese regulators today shut down web-casting services on popular platforms in China, including  Sina Weibo, for violating government standards by broadcasting negative commentary on political and social news.

The ban, which was posted on the website of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), shrouds the future of other major live-streaming and short video services in uncertainty and has caused some consternation in the community of influencers, or KOLs, and luxury brands who work with them.

We reached out to one popular KOL who works with major luxury brands who spoke to us, on condition of anonymity, about how KOLs are taking the news. This influencer touches on the news about the KOL “rules” that were recently outlined by Parklu, which have been difficult to verify and says at least one of them is having a major impact on KOLs and luxury brands.

Jing Daily: What is the significance of the new regulation. How will it affect you, if at all?
KOL: The new regulation does not ban all the videos on Weibo, only those shows without a license from the government. If you post anything from your life, it’s not banned.

You post videos on Weibo and do collaborations with luxury brands. Has there been any immediate impact on your work? Do you have any advice for others posting on Weibo?
It’s not affecting my work so far. If you want to do a show on Weibo with a certain [brand] name and you want to do it in a series, then you might want to apply for a certification from the government. But if you just post randomly about your life, then it is okay so far. I am doing a lot of videos this year, but I have not produced a series show on Weibo yet.

Is this going to affect KOLs’ sentiment towards Weibo (considering the platform had recently made a “comeback” against WeChat and now analysts seem wary that it will actually succeed)?
Weibo and Wechat are so major and influential in China that they dare to do things that people do not like. But there are no other platforms as influential as those two. Even if KOLs want to move to other channels, they really do not have many good options. The recent ban for video shows on Weibo, in fact, does not have a huge impact on KOLs but how Weibo has attempted to control bloggers with their ads is something that truly affects a lot of bloggers.

When you say Weibo is attempting to control bloggers with their ads, can you elaborate? 
In fact, those regulations that are restricting the number of views for those commercial weibos so that Weibo can earn a portion of money from those commercial collaborations has been affecting all the celebrities, brands, and KOLs for a long time.

To your knowledge, are the KOL rules published by Parklu true?
I saw the article on Jing Daily. Not all of the rules listed are true, but several of them are really happening. They are not new at all. They have been there for at least two years. For example, if Fan Bingbing posts about Louis Vuitton bags, this Weibo will be cleaned away, unless LV or Fan Bingbing gives a certain amount of fee to Weibo to make sure this post will stay there on Weibo. For big celebrities like Fan Bingbing, this fee could be a huge number.

 

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