The Chinese version of TikTok’s e-commerce arm recently announced that 78,176 livestream e-commerce hosts using its platform have been fined for violating Douyin’s “General Rules for E-commerce Creators”, according to a report in Chinese media outlet, Ebrun.
Over 2,220 of the livestreaming influencers, or KOLs (key opinion leaders, the commonly-used term for influencers in China) have over one million followers on Douyin, the report added.
Under the platform’s regulations, Douyin influencers are responsible for ensuring the authenticity of their promotional content and for “being aware of the true condition of the product” they are selling. This “true condition” clause includes information indicated on the product itself as well as information that can be obtained “under reasonable circumstances”.
Douyin’s own crackdown on false advertising via e-commerce livestreams comes amidst a broader regulatory crackdown on China’s largest tech firms, which are under enormous pressure to promote positive social values and protect consumers who are increasingly flocking to e-commerce and livestreaming to shop.
On Douyin alone, its e-commerce infrastructure spanning in-app check-out, branded storefronts, livestream shopping and e-payments resulted in transactions that reached a gross merchandise volume of 500 billion yuan ($77.3 billion) last year.