How does the Chinese Government Regulate KOL Marketing?
At present, the Chinese government does not have legislation expressly targeting the influencer marketing industry.
However, there have been regulations that have a direct effect on industry activity. Furthermore, we have seen the Chinese government regulate KOL marketing through shutdowns of specific platforms and influencer accounts.
For example, in early 2017, when the Chinese government restricted the promotion of Korean brands in China, top Weibo influencers received messages directly from Weibo stating that they should cease promotions of any Korean products or risk suspension or deletion of their account.
We have also seen entire platforms shut down like the mass closure of numerous live streaming platforms in mid-2017. At a granular level, specific accounts have been deleted for disseminating subversive or morally reprehensible content, or gossip.
Furthermore, recently, we have seen government restrictions on topics like hip-hop and homosexuality.