What next for China’s livestreaming sector? | WARC | The Feed
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What next for China’s livestreaming sector?
When the Beijing government last week published a new code of conduct for livestreamers in China, it was the latest in a lengthening list of interventions in the digital ecosystem and one that will reshape a livestreaming sector that now accounts for around 15% of all internet retailing.
The code includes a list of things livestreamers should and should not do and imposes a requirement for professional qualifications if they broadcast content of a specialist nature, such as medicine, law, education or financial advice.
The pandemic and lockdowns boosted what was an already growing sector. There are now millions of livestreamers and almost half the country’s online users have bought from them.
The most popular livestreamers command huge followings and can shift mountains of product. Brands of all sorts have noted that reach and sales ability and have partnered with these livestreamers, who have earned huge sums of money in the process.
Why it matters
Being able to talk to a camera for hours on end is a particular skill, but these livestreamers generally lack sector or product knowledge which carries risks for brands – and consumers. Additionally, they have demanded commissions and discounts at a level that now makes little financial sense for brands.
“These retail gatekeepers wielded too much power, hurting brands, consumers, e-commerce platforms and smaller influencers,” consultant Jacob Cooke wrote in the South China Morning Post.
What may happen next
"One effect of the new guidelines will be healthier competition within the industry,” retired law professor Jason Yao told Shanghai Daily. “The law-abiding sites with good-quality content will prevail."
Cooke, meanwhile, expects live-streaming content to diversify over the coming year, not least as brands bypass influencers and invest more in self-produced live streams. “More consumers will buy more from these live streams, and live-stream sales as a portion of overall retail in China should continue to grow.”
Sourced from South China Morning Post, Shanghai Daily, Global Times
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