Jessica Rapp For Jing Daily : China’s KOL Case.

Chinese reg­u­lat­ors on June 23 shut down web-cast­ing ser­vices on pop­ular plat­forms in China for viol­at­ing gov­ern­ment stand­ards by broad­cast­ing neg­at­ive com­ment­ary on polit­ic­al and social news. Jes­sica Rapp reports for Jing Daily. 

Tem­per Magazine’s Trend­ing seg­ment casts a net upon all that is throw­ing tan­trums with­in the world of China Fash­ion across a vari­ety of glob­al sources. This very neces­sary seg­ment makes for a col­lec­tion of largely non-Tem­per Magazine-ori­gin­al con­tent dip­ping its toe into the deep indigo-dyed pool that is the ocean of Middle King­dom fash­ion­able aston­ish­ment.

China’s recent crack­down on social media web-cast­ing ser­vices is cause for con­cern among China’s influ­en­cers — aka Key Opin­ion Lead­ers (KOLs). Jes­sica Rapp sums things up for Jing Daily.

In the wake of the crackdown, many luxury brands have been wondering if their official accounts might be affected, if at all, and how they should respond to the recent events.

The Chinese gov­ern­ment on June 8 shuttered 60 accounts on some of the biggest social media plat­forms, includ­ing WeChat and Sina Weibo, among oth­ers, for pub­lish­ing celebrity news and gos­sip because they under­mined social­ist val­ues. Beijing’s Cyber­space Admin­is­tra­tion ordered inter­net com­pan­ies includ­ing Ten­cent and Baidu to “take effect­ive meas­ures to con­tain the glor­i­fic­a­tion of scan­dals and the private lives of celebrit­ies, the sen­sa­tion­al­iz­a­tion of their con­spicu­ous con­sump­tion and low taste.”
The enter­tain­ment accounts that were closed included both self-run blogs and major ones like Harper’s Bazaar, which is owned by Trends Media Group (a Chinese com­pany estab­lished by Hearst), and For Him Magazine (a Chinese com­pany estab­lished by Brit­ish Bauer Media).

In an effort to give some insight into this murky sub­ject, we com­mu­nic­ated with a seni­or asso­ci­ate of a glob­al PR agency with offices in Beijing, that works with the top lux­ury brands. She spoke with us over the WeChat mes­saging ser­vice on con­di­tion of anonym­ity for fear of reper­cus­sions from the Chinese gov­ern­ment.

For the full Jing Daily inter­view, click here !

Weibo is the most well-known of the platforms affected — the microblogging site currently boasts more than 300 million monthly active users and surpassed Twitter in market value earlier this year.

Fast for­ward a few weeks and Chinese reg­u­lat­ors on June 23 shut down web-cast­ing ser­vices includ­ing live-stream­ing, on three pop­ular plat­forms in China — Sina Weibo, news portal iFeng, and video-stream­ing site AcFun — 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), has caused Weibo’s shares to drop and poten­tially shrouds the future of oth­er major live-stream­ing and short video ser­vices in uncer­tainty.

Watch this short intro­duc­tion to China’s KOL mar­ket­ing cour­tesy of ParkLu (and the PARKLU You­tube Chan­nel), a plat­form “con­nect­ing lead­ing brands with more than 500 mil­lion con­sumers in China through influ­en­cer mar­ket­ing.”

Weibo is the most well-known of the plat­forms affected — the microb­log­ging site cur­rently boasts more than 300 mil­lion monthly act­ive users and sur­passed Twit­ter in mar­ket value earli­er this year. The com­pany had been mak­ing major invest­ments in video just as live-stream­ing began to take off among China’s mil­len­ni­al mobile users and as lux­ury KOLs pivoted to the plat­form for an audio-visu­al sup­ple­ment to WeChat mar­ket­ing. In the second half of 2016, short video con­trib­uted to 10 per­cent of its ad rev­en­ue, which jumped 40 per­cent year-over-year. State-run media organ­iz­a­tion “China Daily” cited the video-stream­ing ban was the res­ult of a lack of licens­ing and a respon­se to the screen­ing of polit­ic­ally-related con­tent “that does not con­form with state rules.”

The ban shrouds the future of other major live-streaming and short video services in uncertainty and has caused some consternation within the KOL community.

In the wake of a “comeback” set to rival WeChat’s social media mar­ket­ing suc­cess story, Weibo had reportedly already been con­sid­er­ing tak­ing steps to reg­u­late users who were oper­at­ing as KOLs on the plat­form, accord­ing to China influ­en­cer mar­ket­ing plat­form ParkLu. The alleged new rules dis­cour­age users from link­ing to its com­pet­it­or, WeChat, and pen­al­ize links to e-com­mer­ce sites out­side of Alibaba, as well as QR codes.
As far as where this might be headed, Bloomberg’s “Gad­fly” column notes it is com­mon that, “new busi­nesses are allowed to flour­ish before hav­ing their wings clipped when they get too big or unwieldy,” but that there are, in fact, up-and-com­ing video-stream­ing plat­forms oper­at­ing with the neces­sary licenses. One such plat­form is Momo, whose stocks were also neg­at­ively affected on Thursday morn­ing by SAPPRFT’s announce­ment.

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.

Jing Daily 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.

For the full Jing Daily KOL inter­view, click here!

On a final updated note, then. Weibo on June 29 gave into gov­ern­ment pres­sure to shut down accounts which unsettled the one-party state’s rulers in Beijing. Accord­ing to Josh Loeb of E&T, the firm stated it would “prefer to self-cen­sor rather than be for­cibly closed, going on the record say­ing that it would “work with state media, such as the Xin­hua news agency and the People’s Daily, to pro­mote a main­stream dis­course in the future.” Unli­censed tele­vi­sion and film con­tent, as well as videos longer than 15 minutes, will also be banned on its plat­forms, Weibo said.

Thou­sands of journ­al­ists have reportedly been fired amid this latest crack­down (on freedom of expres­sion).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This trending topic is the sum of three reports written by Jessica Rapp for Jing Daily 2017 All rights reserved
Featured Image : Courtesy of ParkLu and Jing Daily.
Passionate about style and design, Jessica has been writing about China’s emerging independent fashion scene and the country’s creative industries since moving to Beijing in 2011. She spent two years covering the capital’s dynamic fashion world in depth as style editor of the Beijinger magazine and her work has also been published in Dwell, Design Sponge, Roads and Kingdoms, Melting Butter, and Artnet News. Follow Rapp on Twitter : @jrapppp
Temper Magazine does not own any of the above content. All featured content belongs to Jessica Rapp for Jing Daily 2017. All rights reserved.

 

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