China internet report / Screenshot
Chinese authorities are trying to utilize technology and the Internet to help improve economic situations in rural areas. E-commerce platforms are built to help the transaction of agricultural products between farmers and consumers as well as agricultural materials. There are also fintech companies that focus on agriculture loans.
However, the internet doesn’t only have the happy stories of China’s less developed regions. Kuaishou, one of China’s largest short video platform, is perceived to be popular especially among rural regions. The popularity of Kuaishou brought their less told stories to the general public and many of them were deemed as vulgar and impropriate for circulation. Many streamed videos of people swallowing glass and raw meat and some featured teenage mothers.
With increasing smartphone ownership and parents working in remote regions, many children in China’s countrysides are addicted to mobile games and lose interest in schools. They escaped classes, failing exams, and in the end, drop out of school at early ages.
The government is clearly watching. Amid pressure from the Chinese government, in July 2017, Tencent Games introduced an anti-gaming addiction system that only allows children under 12 to play only one hour a day. In May 2017, Ministry of Cultural and Tourism of China implemented a series of regulations on the gaming industry, including credentials needed to operate gaming businesses as well as in-game purchases.
Apart from gaming, the government has cracked down several content providers since the beginning of 2018. One of the most noted cases is that the media regulator ordered the permanent removal of Bytedance’s joke app for vulgar content.
The administrative interference has appeared beyond the content industry. According to the report, China banned cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offering in September 2017 and blocked all related platforms in early February. In December 2017, China’s central bank and regulatory commission tightened rules around internet financing and peer-to-peer online ending. On July 10, according to local media, the authorities stated to prolong the regulatory period.
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— This article originally appeared on TechNode.