Eastern technology giant Tencent is on a quest to clean up game streaming in China and has published 12 rules streamers must follow.

Tencent notes that it assumes responsibility for any content that is streamed on its platforms. Simply put, if somebody were to contravene China’s restrictive internet laws Tencent would be held accountable.

As such the firm has called on live streamers to “abide by national laws, regulations and policies to promote healthy game content.”

It sounds innocuous enough until you take a look at the rules. The 12 “prohibited items” are listed below.

  1. Violation of China’s social values involving sensitive topics such as politics, ethnicity and religion
  2. Promoting or publishing content that violates China’s social values, including but not limited to pornography, gambling, terrorism
  3. Behaviour that damages the Tencent Games brand directly or indirectly
  4. Distributing false information to other users through any means
  5. Engaging in vulgar or indecent information
  6. Distributing or promoting game cheat software or virus software
  7. Promoting excessive violence in game or in the real world
  8. Infringing on the privacy of other users or revealing other users information without permission
  9. Failure to abide by rules of the contract signed with third parties (streaming platforms)
  10. Infringing the copyright of game makers or other content creators
  11. Causing disputes or adverse social impact
  12. Other actions that do not comply with current laws, ethics and game regulations

The rules are, speaking frankly, incredibly vague. For instance “causing disputes or adverse social impact” could be interpreted any number of ways.

The repercussions for breaking the aforementioned rules are, according to Niko Partners, a ban from streaming Tencent games in future. Whether that is the worst that will happen to streamers who break the rules remains to be seen.

“Tencent has taken a number of steps to create a healthy gaming environment for players of its games by introducing real name registration, anti-addiction systems and parental controls. We believe this move will allow Tencent to further exert that control to the live streaming space and ensure that it is abiding by regulations across all forms of game consumption,” said Niko Partners.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.