Major websites that stream music and anime under investigation over vulgar content

Society & Culture

China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has launched a law enforcement inspection of websites offering music- and anime-streaming services, the People’s Daily reports (in Chinese).

The large-scale campaign involves 27 major platforms, including the country’s top music streaming services such as QQ Music and NetEase Cloud Music, as well as the massively popular short-video-sharing platforms Douyin and Kuaishou. It is aimed at “regulating the business order of the online culture market and strictly investigating online cultural products that contain vulgar content,” according to the article.

In addition to the government’s clampdown, 11 websites providing anime content and 18 online platforms offering music-streaming services were encouraged to conduct self-inspection and cleanup. This has caused the removal of 977 anime videos, 167 manga books, 4,664 songs, 891 music playlists, more than 4,300 users’ comments, and over 4,500 accounts.

Law enforcement departments in cities such as Beijing and Guangdong have opened investigations into music-streaming websites that have products promoting “fascism and militarism.” Other content on the government’s radar are those “containing obscene graphics, advocating violence, inciting crimes, and violating social ethics.”

Last week, China announced a campaign targeting 19 video apps, including Bilibili and Miaopai, which were found responsible for spreading “vulgar, violent, pornographic or pirated content, and promoting distorted information.” Led by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the clampdown led to the permanent shutdown of three apps and a one-month removal of Bilibili from the Android app store.

In the past year, Bilibili, one of the country’s most popular video-streaming sites among Chinese millennials, has been struggling to steer clear of trouble amid tightening regulations on online content. Last July, foreign TV shows and movies were taken offline from the website overnight without any advance notice. In June, Bilibili banned its users from streaming more than 20 electronic games due to an order from the Ministry of Culture, which asked live-streaming platforms to “tighten control over content, ban games that contain bloody, violent, and pornographic elements, [and] improve self-censorship and self-discipline” in order to “create a good environment of online culture.”

Today, Weibo user @神勇小白兔- shared two photos of Bilibili’s office, where there appears to be an exhibition of the Chinese Communist Party’s history and a display case with a few copies of Chinese President Xi’s book Xi Jinping: The Governance of China. “Bilibili’s will to survive is so strong,” the most upvoted comment reads (in Chinese).

bilibili office 2