China to regulate irrational idol-supporting behaviors after hit variety show caused large amount of milk to be wasted
Published: May 08, 2021 07:46 PM
Youth With You Season 3 Photo:VCG


The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Saturday that behaviors causing fans to take irrational acts to support idols will be strictly cracked down upon, after a milk-wasting scandal involving a hit variety show Youth With You Season 3 triggered widespread criticism online.

The CAC revealed a "Clear and Bright" campaign on Saturday, aiming to crack down on illegal online behaviors, including chaotic phenomena relating to the entertainment sector and irrational behaviors of fan groups. Regulations on online behaviors of institutions or official fan groups behind entertainment celebrities will also be shored up, and online bullies will be cracked down upon. 

On Tuesday, the production of the variety show, where trainees compete to become idols, was suspended by authorities. In the show, fans are encouraged to scan voting QR codes inside caps of milk bottles to vote for their favorite trainees. A viral video showing people taking off the caps and dumping the milk into sewers sparked wide criticism.

Later, both the show's producer IQIYI and the sponsor dairy brand Zhenguoli, a sub-brand of China's dairy giant Mengniu, apologized for the negative social influence. 

Zhang Yongjun, an official with the CAC, told a press conference on Saturday that chaotic phenomena among fan groups have been one of the prominent online problems, and the milk wasting scandal, once again, put such problems under the spotlight.

"Comprehensive measures will be rolled out in a bid to solve the problem fundamentally," Zhang said. In addition to trying to lead young people in supporting their idols rationally, Zhang noted that it is also a problem related to platforms' acts of connivance, as well as misconduct from commercial entities.

"Since the voting codes were printed inside the milk bottle caps, [fans] have to buy the products in order to vote. And who can drink that much?" Zhang said, noting that the commercial entity involved cannot be left out of the problem.

Moreover, there will also be measures taken to clear harmful online information, and to strengthen daily regulation on platforms, according to Zhang.

CAC's "Clear and Bright" campaign will also tighten regulations over online violence, malicious online marketing behaviors, the misuse of algorithms in the dissemination of news, and information regarding historical nihilism, among others. 

Global Times