How to move towards standardization after the uproar of online celebrity in running all the way

  In a melon and vegetable planting base in Qian ‘an City, Hebei Province, villagers used live broadcast to promote tomatoes. Xinhua news agency

  In a business exhibition company in Chenghai District, Shantou City, Guangdong Province, an anchor sells car models in the live broadcast room. Xinhua news agency

  In a flower planting base in Xindian Street, Dongying District, Dongying City, Shandong Province, college students returning home during the winter vacation live broadcast with goods. Song Xinggang photo/bright picture

  In Dinghe Village, Tangqi Town, Linping District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, the network anchor is selling special new year goods such as dried herring live. Xinhua news agency

    These days, major e-commerce platforms have launched the "New Year Festival", and Li Dian, a Beijing citizen, is also busy buying in buy buy, but she feels more rational recently. "Now I won’t spend a lot of time in the live room, but I want to take a few minutes to go to the live room of the head anchor when I want to buy something, browse the products of the day, buy them if necessary, and quit the live room immediately if I don’t." Li Dian once bought a lot of good things with good quality and low price in the live broadcast room, and also encountered "things are not as good as the anchor said" or even quality problems. "But overall, the live broadcast industry has become more and more standardized recently."

    On December 20th, 2021, the Inspection Bureau of Hangzhou Taxation Bureau of Zhejiang Province informed that Huang Wei (net name: Viya), the network anchor, had been punished by tax administration according to law, and the tax was recovered, the late payment fee was added and the total fine was 1.341 billion yuan. Subsequently, Viya’s platform accounts were blocked. As soon as the news came out, public opinion was in an uproar. People were both surprised at the wealth myth created by online celebrity’s economy and at how many chaos there were in the live broadcast industry.

    Indeed, this is not the first time that anchor online celebrity has "overturned". "Water Army" swipes bills, sells fakes and evades taxes … … Online celebrity’s economic turnover, which has been refreshed repeatedly, is bound up with all kinds of chaos that has never stopped. In the past two years, with the introduction of various management measures and the strengthening of tax supervision, a clear signal has emerged — —

    The period when online celebrity’s economy ran like a runaway wild horse, such as live broadcast with goods, has passed in a hubbub. Online celebrity’s economy will have a long-term future only if it is standardized in development, developed in standardization and changed into a healthier growth mode.

  Triumphant: Last year, the live broadcast market was nearly 2 trillion yuan.

    “3、2、1! Link! " "Buy it", these familiar slogans, were not "hot" more than two years ago. In Li Dian’s impression, he probably heard the names of Li Jiaqi and other head anchors in 2019, but he didn’t watch the live broadcast at that time. "At that time, I didn’t even know where to watch the live broadcast. After chatting with friends, I realized that Taobao actually had an App dedicated to watching the live broadcast." Li Dian recalled that after the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, he spent less time going out and more time at home. Slowly, she started shopping with the head anchor.

    Looking back at the development of e-commerce live broadcast, with the help of the influx of capital flows and the epidemic, the whole industry has made great strides in the past two or three years, and some media even used "rapid ripening" to describe the development of this industry.

    "During the epidemic, many businesses were blocked from operating offline, and the inventory pressure was high. This sales method of live broadcast with goods has found a way out for shops with sales difficulties, and also meets the needs of consumers. With the active promotion of e-commerce platforms and shopping malls, live delivery has developed rapidly. " Pan Helin, member of the Information and Communication Economy Expert Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and executive director of the Digital Economy Research Institute of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said.

    According to the Research Report of China Live E-commerce Industry in 2021 released by iResearch, by the end of 2020, the number of live e-commerce users in China reached 388 million, accounting for nearly 40% of the total netizens, and nearly two-thirds of users made purchases after watching the live broadcast. According to the enterprise survey data, in 2020, the number of registered new live broadcast enterprises in China increased by 10 times compared with 2016. Online celebrity’s economy, such as e-commerce live broadcast, attracted a large number of practitioners to enter the market, and the number of MCN agencies engaged in online celebrity brokerage achieved a spurt growth from more than 150 in 2015 to more than 20,000 in 2020. The report pointed out that nearly 1,000 live broadcast rooms with sales exceeding 100 million yuan will be born in 2020, and it is estimated that the size of the live broadcast market will be close to 2 trillion yuan in 2021.

    Online celebrity traffic anchor’s super liquidity has attracted many stars and entrepreneurs, trying to get a slice of it. Judging from the overall sales record, the live broadcast of "Fire Out of the Circle" not only makes many new domestic brands well known, but also opens up more sales for agricultural and sideline products, which also drives the rapid growth of online consumption. According to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2021, the national online retail sales increased by 14.1% over the previous year, among which the online retail sales of physical goods increased by 12%, with an average growth rate of 13.4% in two years, which was significantly higher than that of offline consumption.

    Undoubtedly, running all the way’s live broadcast with goods and other online celebrity economies have promoted the development of digital economy. "The live broadcast involves a wide range of goods, and the content display and affordable discounts of the live broadcast have stimulated the enthusiasm of consumers, contributed to the prosperity of China’s consumer market, and also played an important role in promoting the development of domestic goods." Pan and Lin said.

    Zhao Ping, vice president of the Research Institute of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, told the reporter that as an iterative mode of traditional e-commerce, live broadcast with goods has accelerated the high growth of online consumption, and online interaction and all-round display of goods have made it easier for consumers to understand and choose goods, which is conducive to expanding the scale of consumption, creating more consumption growth points and further exerting the pulling effect of consumption on economic growth.

  Frequent chaos: exaggerating propaganda, selling fake goods, and "water army" brushing orders are endless.

    Like any other industry that grows wildly, online celebrity’s cargo carrying industry is experiencing problems at the same time, just like a gorgeous robe covered with lice, behind which is a "chicken feather".

    During the Double Eleven last year, Zhejiang Consumer Protection Committee conducted a consumer inspection on the live broadcasts of five platforms and 17 anchors from Taobao, Pinduoduo, JD.COM, Aauto Quicker and Tik Tok. It is found that five anchors, such as Timor Little Crazy and Yunyun Live Room, have some problems, such as exaggerating propaganda, using absolute advertising language and comparing prices with other live rooms. Knowing that the quality of anchor products such as YEATION and Rongwei No.7 (Xiao Xuan Ge) does not meet the standard; In Li Jiaqi and Baibai Rabbit Live Studio, 1 batch and 2 batches of commodity labels were found to be irregular.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Previously, the anchor Simba received much attention because of the "fake bird’s nest" incident. In addition to him, there are many anchors selling fakes. From time to time, the products in the live broadcast rooms of anchors such as Viya and Li Jiaqi have exposed the quality problems, and consumers often encounter the phenomenon that anchors do nothing after sale and kick balls with merchants.

    From the price point of view, Li Jiaqi, Viya and L ‘Oré al had a dispute over pricing during the Double Eleven last year. At that time, some consumers found that the price of products purchased in the live broadcast room in Li Jiaqi was higher than that in the L ‘Oré al store, and L ‘Oré al explained that it was due to the superposition of official cross-store coupons of Tmall. At that time, the public opinion was quickly divided into two waves. Some people thought that L ‘Oré al’s commitment to the maximum intensity of the whole year was not achieved, which was a sign of dishonesty; Some people think that it is unreasonable for the head anchor to demand the lowest price of the whole network by virtue of its near monopoly position. The term "the world has been suffering from live broadcast for a long time" immediately boarded the hot search. "If you don’t squat down the live broadcast rooms of these anchors, don’t you deserve to buy low prices?" Some netizens issued such a question.

    Some small and medium-sized businesses don’t have much say in the face of well-known anchors, and the actual sales volume in the live broadcast room is not as good as expected after paying high pit fees. The "illusion" created by the "water army" and false transactions has made many small and medium-sized businesses "spend money to buy a loneliness". According to media reports, a company and a online celebrity anchor recently organized a live broadcast of poverty alleviation to help sell agricultural products. The transaction amount was about 450,000 yuan, but the actual sales amount was only 100,000 yuan, accounting for 78% of the total. Similar things are not uncommon. "On the one hand, the falsification of influence indicators such as the virtual high number of viewers and the water injection of sales data has formed an industrial chain. On the other hand, horizontal competition such as malicious brushing, fancy kicking, and false reporting has also polluted the live broadcast ecology. " As early as after the Double Eleven in 2020, China Consumers Association wrote in the report.

    In Pan Helin’s view, there are many problems in the development of online celebrity live broadcast. For example, through the way of water army drainage, improperly gain traffic attention; False propaganda, wrong goods and poor after-sales service; Virtual standard pricing, merchants and anchors raise the price first and then give discounts. Consumers actually do not get benefits, but pay a lot of time costs; Pit fees and withdrawal make the channel cost rise, which is either borne by suppliers or passed on to consumers; Give up the lower limit for traffic, break through the boundary of content creation and so on.

    "These behaviors have undermined the market economic order, affected the user experience and infringed on the rights and interests of consumers. In addition, with the emergence of Matthew effect and 28 phenomena in the live broadcast industry, anchors with head traffic have further raised the threshold for live broadcast, and the increased cost has put some pressure on merchants. " Pan Helin’s view is supported by figures: although the types of anchors are increasingly diversified, the Matthew effect of anchors with goods is prominent, and Li Jiaqi and other head anchors attract most of the traffic. According to the survey and calculation, the Top10′ s head anchor has a market share of nearly 55.75%.

    Zhao Ping said that these problems have sounded the alarm for the development of China’s digital economy. Although the development prospect of digital economy is broad, anchors and enterprises should be upright and innovative, and jointly create a fair market order and a consumer-friendly consumption environment to promote the healthy development of digital economy.

  Regulatory measures: multi-departments tighten the "reins" to make the industry develop healthily.

    After Viya was punished for tax evasion, the tax authorities in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and other places issued notices, requiring celebrity artists and network anchors to pay taxes by self-examination as soon as possible.

    This is not the first time that the regulatory authorities have taken action. In the past two years, the management methods and professional norms of online marketing such as live broadcast and delivery have gradually landed. In November 2020, the General Administration of Market Supervision issued the Interim Provisions on Regulating Promotion Behavior, and then issued the Guiding Opinions on Strengthening the Supervision of Webcast Marketing Activities to strictly regulate the Webcast marketing behavior. On March 15, 2021, the General Administration of Market Supervision issued the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Online Transactions, which restricts online transactions such as live broadcast from four aspects: online transaction operators, online trading platform operators, supervision and management, and legal responsibilities. In April, seven departments jointly issued the "Management Measures for Webcast Marketing (Trial)", which clarified the behavior red line for the practitioners of live broadcast marketing activities; In September, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued the "Administrative Measures for Network Performance Brokers", which included all the subjects of live broadcast activities in the scope of management. Undoubtedly, the regulatory authorities are tightening the "reins" of online celebrity’s economy, such as regulating live broadcasts.

    When answering a reporter’s question about Viya’s tax evasion case, the Inspection Bureau of Hangzhou Taxation Bureau said that the platform economy is a new format of economic development, which has played a positive role in better meeting the needs of consumers, promoting the transformation of old and new kinetic energy, and promoting high-quality economic development. In the process of rapid development of platform economy, some network anchors’ illegal tax behaviors have disturbed the order of tax collection and management and destroyed the market environment of fair competition. The tax authorities will investigate and deal with the illegal tax acts of network anchors according to laws and regulations, which is conducive to the long-term standardized and healthy development of the platform economy. State Taxation Administration of The People’s Republic of China also expressed his firm support for the Hangzhou tax authorities to seriously deal with Viya’s tax evasion cases according to law. At the same time, tax authorities at all levels are required to strictly investigate and punish all kinds of tax evasion, resolutely safeguard the authority of the national tax law and promote social fairness and justice; It is required to conscientiously implement various preferential tax and fee policies, continuously optimize tax and fee services, and promote the standardization and development of new economy and new formats in development.

    This statement made by the tax authorities reflects the consistent attitude of various regulatory authorities: We never deny the contribution of online celebrity anchor to promoting the development of platform economy and the contribution of platform economy to China’s economic and social development. However, whether it is the live broadcast industry or the platform economy, in order to develop healthily for a long time, we must bid farewell to chaos, standardize in development and develop in standardization.

    Zhao Ping believes that in order for online celebrity to grow in a healthier way, it is necessary to bring the economy of online celebrity, such as live broadcasting with goods, into the legal development track, so that it can keep the legal bottom line while developing rapidly and conduct business and innovation activities legally and legally. It is necessary to strengthen the compliance supervision of online celebrity’s economic entities and related behaviors, starting from all aspects of online celebrity’s economic supply chain, from product production, online sales to after-sales service, to meet the requirements of product quality and safety law, advertising law, anti-unfair competition law, anti-monopoly law, consumer rights protection law and other relevant laws and regulations, so as to maintain fair competition market order and protect consumers’ legitimate rights and interests.

    "Yes ‘ The problem of water army ’ , to find together, investigate together, can’t let consumers be ‘ False flow ’ Guide, so as not to undermine the fairness of market competition. Quality and after-sales issues require the relevant departments to strengthen supervision, and organizations such as the Consumers Association need to take action to help consumers protect their rights. In view of the pit parking fee and drawing, industry organizations should issue an initiative to limit the drawing ratio and not excessively increase the cost of merchants. In view of the problem of tax evasion, the tax authorities should crack down on this illegal act on the one hand, and build a normalized tax monitoring system on the other. For the marketing behavior dominated by traffic and abundant, the e-commerce platform should find it early and dispose of it in time through algorithms. The company where the live e-commerce is located should also do a good job in compliance education for the anchor with goods and constrain the anchor behavior. " Pan helin suggested.

    Gao Baohua, a researcher at the Institute of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, said that it is necessary to strengthen the key management and compliance inspection of head live broadcast rooms, head anchors and accounts, high-flow or high-turnover live broadcast activities, guide all kinds of subjects engaged in webcasting marketing activities, strengthen industry self-discipline, and build a standardized live broadcast supply chain system from multiple dimensions such as commodity supply, consumer rights protection and platform construction.

    Pan and Lin bluntly said that whether the live e-commerce will ultimately benefit the society depends on two points: First, whether the live e-commerce promotes the circulation and consumption of goods. Second, whether the live e-commerce has reduced the cost of sales channels while maintaining compliance operations, so that both suppliers and consumers can benefit.

    With the tightening of the "reins" of supervision, we expect that after the shock and adjustment, online celebrity’s cargo-carrying industry can really benefit more merchants and consumers and can go more steadily and for a long time.

    (Reporter chenchen)