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Chinese regulators have banned celebrities from endorsing a range of products, including tobacco products, off-campus tutoring, formula food, healthcare and medical goods.

The new rules, released by the State Administration for Market Regulation and six other groups on Monday afternoon, will limit the lucrative world of celebrity endorsements, which has been plagued by high-profile scandals in recent years.

The new rules prohibit celebrities from endorsing the products via social media, TV commercials, live broadcasts or interviews.

“Celebrities should consciously practice socialist core values ​​in their advertising activities,”[ads1]; the rules state. “Activities should conform to social morals and traditional virtues.”

The rules include internet influencers in their definition of celebrities, reflecting the increasingly powerful role live streamers and online personalities can play in promoting products.

Live streamers like Chu Fei are becoming increasingly influential in China

Live streamers, such as Chu Fei, left, are becoming increasingly influential in China © Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

They also prohibit the promotion of “deformed aesthetics” and the use of images or likenesses of party and state leaders or revolutionary heroes.

All products that a celebrity endorses must be thoroughly tested by them first, and the results of the test must be recorded in advance, the new rules state.

Companies should “deliberately resist the selection of illegal and immoral celebrities as advertising spokespersons”, they added.

The celebrity endorsement industry has been hit by a number of scandals. Most recently, Li Jiaqi, a livestreamer, disappeared from public view for three months after showing a tank-shaped cake in a June 3 video, which, some analysts speculated, Beijing had interpreted as an implicit reference to the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. next day.

“If a company knows or should know that a celebrity has made incorrect political statements or other remarks that violate the core socialist values ​​… it must … determine that the advertising in question hinders social stability and social public order,” the new the rules state.

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