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Chinese regulators have banned celebrities from endorsing a range of products, including tobacco products, off-campus tutoring, synthetic foods, health care and medical goods.

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

The new rules prevent celebrities from endorsing products via social media, TV ads, live broadcasts or interviews.

The rules state that “celebrities must consciously exercise socialist core values ​​in their advertising endorsement activities.” Activities must conform to social morals and traditional virtues.

The rules include online influencers in their definition of celebrities, reflecting the increasingly powerful role that livestream users and online personalities can play in promoting products.

Live broadcasts, like Chu Fei, left, are becoming increasingly influential in China © Qilai Shen / Bloomberg

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

Any products approved by a celebrity must be thoroughly tested by them first, and test results must be recorded in advance, according to the new rules.

They added that companies should “consciously resist choosing illegal and unethical celebrities as advertising spokespeople”.

The celebrity support industry has been hit by a series of scandals. Recently, Li Jiaqi, a live broadcaster, disappeared from public view for three months after showing a tank-shaped cake in a June 3 video, which some analysts speculated was interpreted by Beijing as an implicit reference to the Tiananmen massacre. The next day.

“If the establishment knows or should know that a celebrity has made false political remarks or other remarks that violate basic socialist values… it must determine that the relevant advertisement impairs social stability and social public order,” the new rules state.

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