Douyin and Kuaishou fined for advertising microcredit leading to excessive consumption

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The Chinese video-sharing app Douyin and Kuaishou have been fined by the Chinese government for posting a micro-charging ad that lured the public towards excessive consumption, according to several reports such as the South China Morning Post. The two companies were fined 200,000 (US $ 31,287) by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) in the Haidian District of Beijing. The related ad violated China’s advertising law, which prohibits campaigns considered by authorities to undermine a good social climate or disrupt public order.

The ad, produced by JD Technology, the financial technology arm of e-commerce giant JD.com. The announcement, according to the SCMP report, concerns a man traveling on a plane with his mother. He is concerned for his mother’s well-being as she is airsick and takes out an instant loan through a JD.com app to get the money before upgrading her to a cabin seat. JD Tech apologized for the announcement in December of last year and said it was not sensitive enough to people who were not making a lot of money. In July, JD.com was fined 400,000 yen for advertising.

In addition, SAMR also confiscated the income of 39,400 yen and 74,200 yen respectively from Douyin and Kuaishou, based on the business records on the National Business Credit Information System. The behavior of the two application operators would have “serious value issues that advocated misdirection such as excessive consumption.”

The Chinese authority is still tightening its grip on the country’s technology companies and application operators have limited the use of its services. For example, all authenticated ByteDance Douyin users under the age of 14 will now access the application in youth mode. In youth mode, users under the age of 14 can only access the app for up to 40 minutes a day, and only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., the organization said. According to several reports, the company said the latest measure was aimed at protecting young people and was the strictest in the history of the platform.

According to an article published in May by Chinese state newspapers, World time, this new offering ensures that young users can only see content designed exclusively for their age group and limits their access to services such as posting content, live streaming or tipping streamers. According to the article, for users between the ages of 14 and 18, the platform will also offer protection through content recommendation and search.

Meanwhile, other popular social messaging apps have also rolled out measures to prevent young users from accessing games and features, as well as finding nearby friends. For example, Tencent-owned WeChat also offers a youth mode. When enabled, users have limited access to certain games and payment features.

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