It will soon be quicker to report on which aspects of the technology industry the Chinese authorities are NOT cracking down on. The latest examples both have relevance for the music industry in China though.
First, an edict from the Cyberspace Administration of China calling for a cut in what Shine describes as “frantic or improper idol-worshipping behaviour”. That’s idols as in pop stars, and the impact has been immediate on music streaming services like QQ Music and NetEase Cloud Music. They’re moving quickly to stop fans buying more than one copy of an album by their favourite stars; and ditching charts based on artists rather than on the music itself. Crowdfunding and fan voting are also now very much out of favour with the authorities.
Elsewhere, there are new rules on how much time children are allowed to spend playing online games in China. Strict rules too: they can play between 8pm and 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as well as public holidays. The music angle here being the impact on the parent companies of China’s biggest music streaming services, since Tencent and NetEase both have significant gaming businesses too.