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China tech

Weibo, Tencent and peers pledge self-discipline over fan culture

A netizen shows the super topics, a type of Reddit-like community page, on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.   © AP

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- Chinese content platforms including Weibo and Tencent Video have agreed to enforce more self-discipline to help maintain a "clear" cyberspace environment, a government-affiliated industry association said on Saturday.

Chinese regulators last month cracked down on what they call a "chaotic" celebrity fan culture after a series of scandals involving artists. The authorities barred platforms from publishing lists of popular celebrities and ordered fan groups to be regulated.

The China Association of Performing Arts (CAPA) said it met on Friday with platform representatives, who pledged to promote only "healthy" content with positive values, to refrain from using data and traffic as their main guide and to stop encouraging "false hype".

Fourteen platforms signed the pledge, CAPA said in a WeChat statement, including short video platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, and news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, both owned by ByteDance.

Tencent said on its official Weibo account that it would work to create a clean and upright online culture. Weibo and ByteDance did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The platforms would strengthen their management of accounts and restrict those that spread baseless star gossip or stir up conflicts between fan groups, CAPA said. They would also encourage users to actively report illegal content.

"The participating platforms reached a consensus that in order to maintain a clean cyberspace environment and strengthen the construction of online cultural content, companies should carry out more proactive self discipline," it said.

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