Foreigners in Livestreaming

No place for us

I reported earlier ( about the huge livestreaming market in China; well no foreigners in Livestreaming in China allowed, in any form.

As one of the many discriminations foreigners face in China, only Chinese ID holders can appear in livestreaming. Can you imagine that would be applied somehow in Western countries?

Xiaohongshu ruled that no foreign people will be allowed in front of a camera during live streams. It appears that this will not only apply to foreigners of non-Asian descent, but also East Asians who look like Chinese, such as Koreans and Japanese, according to users’ social media posts discussing the matter.

Inke followed in the footsteps of Douyin and Kwai (Kuaishou).
Douyin, the Chinese sister app of TikTok, also bans accounts that featured foreigners when active streams are found and reported.

Constant monitoring

Official documents from TikTok’s parent company ByteDance have confirmed rumours that the viral video app is constantly running facial recognition technology to monitor and censor content on Douyin – China’s version of the platform.

Douyin may appear innocuous on the surface, but Chinese streamers are subject to an intrusive regime of automated surveillance every time they broadcast on the app. China’s Ministry of Culture had made noise pertaining to the banning of foreigners in livestreams back in 2017, but the rule has only started being enforced since China’s Security Law came into effect this July 2020.

A few weeks ago, a foreign national found himself booted from Douyin within ‘about a minute’ for appearing briefly in someone else’s livestream, and his story garnered a fair bit of attention online. His wife, who is a Chinese citizen, was broadcasting from their Beijing apartment and sidled over to ask how his day was going when the stream suddenly went dark. The foreigner took to Twitter to reveal that the pair had been met with an error message forbidding the presence of foreign users without ‘government permission’.

Kuaishou today

Had a look again at Kuaishou. That’s the only app I still have for this.

I am always a bit lost, as all in Chinese. Most of the screenshots are of recorded clips. The one with the cook is lifestreaming; you see me “entering the room”, bjprc. Notice how many people are following/commenting/joining…

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