There may be trouble brewing for TikTok and the other ‘short-video’ apps that have proven so popular in China over the last year.

The Financial Times reported on a new set of industry guidelines, directed by the Chinese government, which will hold these apps responsible for all content posted by their users. Examples of content banned under the new guidelines range from puns on Communist titles and calls for Taiwanese or Hong Kong independence through to distorting political speeches, displaying extra-marital affairs and even “chanting spells to change human destiny”.

The hammer-blow for the short-video apps is that the government is expecting them to review every single piece of content posted by their users: something that could lead to massive costs in terms of moderation. The short-video apps have already hired tens of thousands of people as moderators in the last year, as it became clear that the government was unhappy about some of the material being posted on these services.

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