In its continuing effort to sanitize the Chinese internet, already this year, China has cracked down on homosexuality, raunchy time travel and foul-mouthed internet superstars, now they are going bananas.
According to state media, Chinese streaming services have banned hosts from filming themselves eating the suggestive yellow fruit “in an erotic manner.”
This latest regulation comes at a time in which the Chinese webcam industry is exploding in popularity, giving net nanny censors headaches as they try to figure out how to control a platform that is live and operates on a business model centered around attractive women showing off just as much as they can get away with.
These young camgirls — or online hostesses — can make some serious cash. Those with enough followers can earn between 10,000 to 100,000 yuan per month, by enticing and teasing their viewers into purchasing virtual gifts, like roses, chocolates and designer bags, and splitting the revenue with the streaming companies.
Beijing Today describes the business from one young woman’s perspective:
Ding at first was hesitant to take up camming. During her first week online, she was criticized by her agent for “not communicating enough with her online followers.” Since then, she adjusted her style and won a large following. Her peak show drew more than 600,000 viewers who were eager to watch her change into expensive clothes she bought from South Korea.
“My followers are mainly young men who are very vain,” Ding said in an interview with Paper.cn. “The rest are just people who want to hit on a young and beautiful model.”
Partly owing to China’s infamous gender gap, there is no shortage of single men ready to do just that. 68% of viewers are between 19 and 35 and over three-fourths are male. One of the biggest streaming sites, YY.com, claims 120 million active users, and revenues of 5.9 billion yuan.
However, in building their audience, not all hosts have kept things PG-13. Already this year, there have been reports of women stripping, posing nude and having sex on their channel to win more followers. China’s internet regulator claims that competitive streaming sites are increasingly pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable; thus the crackdown on blowing bananas.
Last month, the Ministry of Culture announced an investigation into all of the major streaming platforms, authoring legislation that requires live-streaming services to monitor ALL of their content 24/7. With thousands of channels and only a limited team of monitors, this seems somewhat unrealistic.
But hey, if you’re desperate, you can always switch over to iPanda and watch hours of hardcore action: