Delineate the red line of behavior, share the blacklist, live broadcast with goods, and wear the rule of law "golden hoop"

Delineate the red line of behavior, share the blacklist, live broadcast with goods, and wear the rule of law "golden hoop"

  □ Reporter Zhao Chenxi

  With the increasing popularity of online shopping, many people are no longer satisfied with their own drawings and introductions, so they order shopping from the e-commerce platform, but need some people to give "professional" recommendations and explanations, which also makes the live broadcast more and more hot.

  According to the Statistical Report on the Development of Internet in China, as of December 2020, the number of live webcast users in China reached 617 million, of which 388 million were e-commerce users, an increase of 123 million compared with March 2020, accounting for 39.2% of all netizens, ranking first in the number of live webcast users.

  However, while some people earn a lot of money by live broadcasting, many merchants and anchors with goods take advantage of the loopholes in content review and supervision and management of live broadcasting platforms to make false propaganda and sell fake and shoddy goods, which seriously damages the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.

  In this regard, on April 23rd, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the State Taxation Administration of The People’s Republic of China, the State Administration of Market Supervision, and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television jointly issued the Measures for the Management of Webcast Marketing (for Trial Implementation), which will take effect on May 25th.

  Liu Junhai, director of the Institute of Commercial Law of Renmin University of China, said in an interview with the Daily Rule of Law that no matter how big the Internet is, it is no bigger than the French Open. The promulgation of the Measures will put a golden hoop of the rule of law on the live broadcast industry and effectively rectify the chaos in the industry.

  "the first law" of live broadcast with goods

  In the China E-commerce Legal Report 2019-2020 issued by the Economic and Social E-commerce Research Center of the domestic e-commerce think tank network, "the risk of live broadcast with goods" is one of the "Top Ten E-commerce Legal Risks in 2019-2020".

  The reporter noted that long before the joint release of the seven departments, the relevant departments issued a number of specifications related to webcasting in 2020.

  In June, 2020, the Media Shopping Professional Committee of China Business Federation drafted and formulated the group standard of live shopping industry, "Operation Management and Service Specification for Live Shopping (Draft for Comment)", which stipulated the basic requirements, product quality requirements, operator management, live broadcast personnel and other aspects of live shopping management and service. This specification is the first national standard in the live shopping industry.

  On June 24th, 2020, China Advertising Association issued the Code of Conduct for Webcast Marketing, which is applicable to the webcasting marketing activities in which merchants, anchors and other participants sell goods or provide services to users in the form of live broadcast on e-commerce platforms, content platforms, social platforms and other online platforms. This code is the first special code on webcasting marketing activities in China.

  On June 30, 2020, Zhejiang E-commerce Promotion Association issued "Training and Evaluation Standard for Live E-commerce Talents", which is the first domestic standard for live e-commerce practitioners.

  Although some norms have been issued by relevant departments, in the view of Yang Chunbao, a senior partner of Dacheng (Shanghai) Law Firm, these norms are scattered and have a low level of effectiveness. When handling or hearing related complaints or cases, market supervision and law enforcement departments and judicial organs can only rely on universal laws such as e-commerce law and advertising law. Therefore, it is urgent to issue a targeted and high-level regulation to regulate all kinds of chaos in the webcast industry.

  Yang Chunbao believes that the promulgation of the "Measures" undoubtedly makes up for this problem, and makes detailed provisions on the respective obligations and legal responsibilities of the main practitioners in this industry, which is the "first big law" to regulate the marketing of webcasting at present.

  Define the age limit for practitioners.

  Nowadays, more and more minors are exposed to live webcasts. Apart from being viewers, it has also been revealed that some minors were packaged as anchors with goods and used "immature" words to promote products.

  The "Measures" subdivide the live broadcast publishers engaged in live broadcast marketing activities into live broadcast room operators and live broadcast marketers, and set a clear age limit, requiring natural persons to be at least 16 years old; Minors over the age of 16 who apply to become live marketers or live room operators shall obtain the consent of their guardians.

  Liu Junhai pointed out that minors, as anchors with goods, are easy to be used by some businesses and marketing teams, and will also have a bad demonstration effect on society, which should be explicitly prohibited.

  If the underage anchor is "not deeply involved in the world", then some relatively well-known anchors with goods are suspected of "knowingly committing crimes".

  In May, 2020, Liu Ergou, a network anchor with more than 18 million fans, showed in a live broadcast with goods that the paper towels he sold were 1,800 grams. After purchasing, consumers found that the paper towels received were only 500 grams, which was a serious problem.

  In November, 2020, Simba, a live broadcast anchor with tens of millions of fans, falsely advertised a flavor beverage with a bird’s nest content of only 0.014% as a commodity with a high bird’s nest content in a live broadcast.

  Not only that, some businesses that intend to promote are also frequently subjected to "routines" by network anchors and their teams.

  At present, the main revenue models of anchor goods are divided into three modes: pure pit fee, pure commission or commission plus pit fee, in which "commission" means that the anchor draws a share according to the sales volume of the live broadcast room, and the higher the sales volume, the more it is divided; The pit fee is a fixed appearance fee for the anchor to introduce and publicize the goods.

  In order to gain high income, it is not uncommon to cheat in the live broadcast room. The high popularity of supporting anchor pit fees can be faked, and fans, viewers, likes and interactions can also be purchased in batches at low prices. Some anchors even hire a brushing team to purchase goods first and then return them one after another. Some merchants revealed that the live broadcast of the goods cost 150,000 yuan, but the final return rate was as high as 90%, and all the goods were pressed in their hands.

  In response to all kinds of chaos, the "Measures" clearly stipulate that live broadcast operators and live broadcast marketers engaged in online live broadcast marketing activities should abide by laws and regulations and relevant state regulations, follow social public order and good customs, and truly, accurately and comprehensively publish information on goods or services. At the same time, it also stipulates that practitioners should not publish false or misleading information to deceive or mislead users; It is forbidden to market fake and shoddy goods, which infringe intellectual property rights or do not meet the requirements for protecting personal and property safety; It is forbidden to fabricate or tamper with eight red lines, such as transactions, attention, views, likes and other data traffic fraud.

  Strengthen the protection of consumers’ rights and interests

  The biggest loss of live broadcast rollover is consumers. China Consumers Association has repeatedly pointed out that it is difficult for consumers to protect their rights in the field of live broadcast.

  In Liu Junhai’s view, the illegal cost of offenders is lower than the illegal income, while the cost of consumer rights protection is higher than the rights protection income, which is the key reason for the repeated illegal activities of live broadcast.

  In order to strengthen the protection of consumers’ rights and interests, the Measures stipulate that consumers jump to other platforms to buy goods or receive services through links in live broadcast rooms and QR codes. In case of disputes, relevant live broadcast marketing platforms should actively assist consumers to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests and provide necessary evidence and other support. Operators and marketers of live broadcast rooms shall perform their responsibilities and obligations to protect consumers’ rights and interests according to laws and regulations, and shall not deliberately delay or refuse legitimate and reasonable demands put forward by consumers without justifiable reasons.

  Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Communication Law Research Center of China University of Political Science and Law, believes that the provisions of the Measures are an extension of the consumer rights protection law in the field of live delivery, especially requiring the platform to provide necessary evidence of rights protection, which provides support for consumers’ rights protection.

  Throughout the past cases, there were problems with live broadcast, consumers’ rights and interests were damaged, and the anchor was questioned, but the live broadcast platform was often "lucky to escape". The "Measures" focus on compacting the responsibilities of the live broadcast platform, requiring the live broadcast platform to establish and improve mechanisms such as account registration and cancellation, information security management, marketing behavior norms, protection of minors, protection of consumers’ rights and interests, personal information protection, and network and data security management.

  In view of the live broadcast room with a large number of fans and a large transaction amount, the Measures further strengthened supervision, requiring the platform to take preventive measures such as real-time inspection by special personnel and extending the storage time of live content. At the same time, the platform is required to take measures such as blocking live broadcasts, closing accounts, being blacklisted, and joint punishment for violations.

  Zhao Zhanling, a special researcher at the Intellectual Property Research Center of China University of Political Science and Law, pointed out that live broadcast is real-time. At present, it is mostly solved by reporting and complaining afterwards, and measures such as real-time inspection stipulated in the Measures help to strengthen prevention in advance.

  It is worth noting that in order to avoid the problem of water control in Kowloon, the Measures propose that the seven departments establish and improve the working mechanisms such as clue transfer, information sharing, consultation and judgment, education and training, and do a good job in the supervision and management of webcasting marketing according to their respective responsibilities, and share information on the list of live marketing market entities that seriously violate laws and regulations, and carry out joint punishment according to law.

  While welcoming the strongest supervision, Zhao Zhanling also hopes that the anchors with cargo can improve their legal awareness and regulate their own behaviors. The anchor promotes the products he manages, and his role is the product seller. If the propaganda content is false, it is suspected of fraud; If you do propaganda for businesses, their roles are advertising operators and publishers, and you need to fulfill the obligation to review the authenticity and legality of the advertising content of businesses as advertisers, otherwise you will be suspected of violating the advertising law and bear corresponding legal responsibilities.


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