KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — As China ramps up its fan culture crackdown, the country’s cyberspace regulator will now tighten how celebrity information is disseminated online.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said this was aimed at creating a positive and healthy internet environment, describing the proliferation of gossip and star-chasing as impacting mainstream values, Reuters reported.
It also said it would create a “negative list” that targets celebrity information online that promotes bad values such as ostentatious wealth as well as attempts to encourage fans to spend money to support celebrities.
The CAC also wants celebrity endorsements and advertisements to be clearly marked by platforms, and fan clubs must be managed by authorised agents.
According to the news portal, Chinese authorities had in recent months moved to dampen what they called the country’s “chaotic” celebrity fan culture, ordering broadcasters, online platforms and artists to help curb the phenomenon after a series of celebrity scandals involving tax evasion and sexual assault.
Online celebrity fan clubs have become a widespread phenomenon in China with a local newspaper projecting the country’s “idol economy” could be worth 140 billion yuan (RM92.22 billion) by 2022.
They have also been criticised for their influence over minors and for causing social disorder.
When Canadian-Chinese pop star Kris Wu was detained by Beijing police in July on suspicion of sexual assault, his fan groups came to his defence on social media.
Most of these fan accounts, along with Wu’s online accounts, were later taken down.
Chinese authorities have also ordered actors and other performers to follow moral guidelines or face being banned.
The China Association of Performing Arts had on Tuesday published a list of 88 people that it said have been banned from live streaming for reasons including violating ethics.