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China to crack down on 'chaotic' online fan culture

China to crack down on 'chaotic' online fan culture

A woman wearing a protective face mask uses a phone at a park in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit the hardest by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Hubei province, China, May 15, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

SHANGHAI: China will move to crack down on the "chaotic" online celebrity fan culture, the country's cyberspace regulator said in a notice published on Friday (Aug 27), part of an ongoing state campaign to "rectify" the internet sector.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said it would take action against the dissemination of "harmful information" in celebrity fan groups and close down discussion channels that spread celebrity scandals or "provoke trouble".

The administration will improve the way it regulates the promotion of celebrities online and also ban lists that rank celebrities by popularity, the notice said.

It will also take action against the financial exploitation of netizens through the sale of merchandise or by charging fans to vote for their favourite acts in online variety shows. It also aims to restrict access to online fan groups for minors.

On Thursday, Chinese video-streaming platform iQiyi announced that it would stop showing "idol competition" programmes amid growing government criticism of celebrities and "unhealthy fan culture".

Source: Reuters/ad

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