China's Latest Target For Online Crackdown: Live-Streaming Foreigners

from the I-saw-what-you-did-there dept

As we've noted before, China's grip on the domestic Internet seems so complete that it's hard to think how the authorities there might tighten control yet further. But the Chinese government is nothing if not resourceful, and has managed to come up with a new group to target, as this report on the Sixth Tone site explains:

Multiple foreign users have received suspension notices from major live-streaming apps, including Blued, China's most popular gay social networking app, and Yizhibo, which is backed by microblog platform Weibo.

This seems to be as a result of the new regulations governing the Internet in China, brought in at the end of last year. Among the measures there is one that requires online broadcasts to be "beneficial to the promotion of socialist core values", while another stipulates that platforms should not allow hosts from outside mainland China to create channels without first asking permission from the country's Ministry of Culture. That's where the difficulty arises:

According to an employee of one of the biggest streaming companies, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record, the problem with the new regulations is that there are no details on how to apply. Live-broadcasting platforms have dealt with the uncertainty in a variety of ways. At the employee's company, old users are allowed to continue broadcasting, but new foreign users cannot sign up for the time being.

However, other services have decided to play it safe by taking all non-Chinese users offline until the new rules have been clarified. A Yizhibo employee told Sixth Tone that a key issue was a requirement for real-name verification -- something that Techdirt has discussed before. Apparently, it's not a straightforward process when it comes to foreigners.

The crackdown on live-streaming services is not the only recent move by the authorities that targets foreigners. Last week, China made another announcement, much more far-reaching in its effect than the live-streaming ban:

China is to begin taking fingerprints of all foreign visitors as it steps up security on its borders, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.

Perhaps the Chinese government feels that it has the domestic population sufficiently under control now that it can move on to tightening up the rules for foreign visitors.

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  • identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, 23 Feb 2017 @ 3:59am

    Rephrased

    China wants to prevent its internet companies from competing in the global marketplace.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stephen, 23 Feb 2017 @ 6:07am

    China's Fingerprint Collection

    China is to begin taking fingerprints of all foreign visitors as it steps up security on its borders, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.

    Perhaps the Chinese government feels that it has the domestic population sufficiently under control now that it can move on to tightening up the rules for foreign visitors.

    It may come as a shock to Americans but the US has been doing the exact same thing since not long after 9/11: collecting foreigners fingerprints at the border. (Or rather whenever visitors apply for a US visa.)

    The State Dept explains it on the following webpage

    https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/border-biometrics.html

    In the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, the U.S. Congress mandated the use of biometrics in U.S. visas.This law requires that U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad must issue to international visitors, "only machine-readable, tamper-resistant visas and other travel and entry documents that use biometric identifiers. Additionally, the Homeland Security Council decided that the U.S. standard for biometric screening is ten fingerprint scans collected at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates for visa applicants seeking to come to the United States.

    China is therefore merely catching up to the US position.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 23 Feb 2017 @ 6:28am

      Re: China's Fingerprint Collection

      Next move is for China to start asking for social networking accounts.

      Kinda sad when the Chinese are mirroring totalitarian policies the US has enacted first.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2017 @ 6:21am

    Stephen, there a huge difference between meremlt visiting a country and applying for a visa. Time to wake up and pay attention or sit back and let the adults talk.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 23 Feb 2017 @ 6:38am

      Re:

      "let the adults talk"

      "meremlt visiting a country"

      Can we let Stephen type for you?

      Lemme help you out my brotha:

      Travel without a Visa - Visa Waiver Program - Each traveler holding a valid passport from any of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries, regardless of age or passport used, must present an individual machine-readable passport (MRP) in order to enter the United States without a visa. Depending on the date the traveler's passport was issued, other passport requirements apply. If a prospective traveler does not meet requirements to travel without a visa, he/she will need to apply for a U.S. visa, and cannot travel on VWP. See Visa Waiver Program and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website for complete details. Additionally, all VWP travelers are required to have an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before traveling to the United States

      So... unless you come from a country that is in the VWP, you're not getting without a visa application.

      https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visa-waiver-program.html

      All your biometrics are ours.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    strykerakamack (profile), 23 Feb 2017 @ 7:41am

    China ....Welcome to the Great Wall of......FUCK YOU

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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