Plenty of livestreams are not, in fact, live streams, but rather pre-records. That’s become a common feature of the online concerts landscape in the west. Now the Chinese authorities have announced plans to make all livestreamed shows… not live.

Instead, they would be broadcast on a delay, which the South China Morning Post reported would “enable specific personnel assigned by internet platforms to do real-time supervision of online performances and block what they determine as problematic content”.

What hasn’t been revealed yet in the draft plans is what, exactly, counts as problematic content. That raises the prospect of vague guidelines putting the onus on the platforms to take a safety-first approach and remove anything that *might* be seen as problematic.

Livestreamed music concerts have been pulling in big audiences in China – Andy Lau on Douyin and the Backstreet Boys on WeChat for example.

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