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Chinese internet authorities to crack down on 'threatening' live-streaming

China's top internet regulator released controversial new rules on Friday requiring the country's live-streamers to hold a broadcasting license.

The restrictions put forward by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will mean anyone who uses or provides content which could be considered as threatening to social order or the country's security faces punishment.


Booming live-streaming industry

Zhong Zhi | Getty Images | Getty Images News

Similar laws are in place in China for other media services though the county's booming live-streaming industry is the latest to be targeted with strict restrictions.

Dr. Rogier Creemers, a researcher in the law and government of China at Leiden University, told CNBC in a phone interview on Friday that Chinese authorities can be particularly stringent in order to cover against every eventuality.

He went on to add: "Everyone and their sister can upload content which naturally presents a problem for the government. Primarily these rules are to make sure that live streaming can be managed more easily by the authorities."

'Narrow the playing field'

In April 2016, the CAC and other authorities criticized the rapid growth of live-streaming warning that the younger Chinese population were being exposed to damaging activity such as pornography and terrorism.

Credit Suisse Group experts have forecast the industry could more than double in 2017, soaring to $5 billion, as a result of an exponential increase in young mobile users.

Critics of the new rules argue that the new restrictions, which are set to come into effect from December, will be of significant benefit to established live-streaming companies while damaging the chances of success for smaller competitors.

Mark Natkin, managing director at Marbridge Consulting, told Reuters: "One of the things the government always wants to do is narrow the playing field to a smaller number of higher profile known entities, ideally ones that have a better track record of cooperating with the government."