Since the “milk pouring incident” went viral, the Beijing government has clamped down on “Youth With You 3” and it’s sponsor, Zhen Guo Li, by suspending the show. iQIYI and Zhen Guo Li responded quickly by confirming they have terminated recording for the rest of the program and canceled the finale night in order to further review and correct the show’s system. In addition, they have closed all voting channels and stated they would refund customers that have purchased the milk product to obtain the milk cards for the QR code.
While iQIYI has not mentioned anything about a debut group, there have been rumors that the group has been named NINEVER and the member line up has been floating online. However, the show later issued a statement shutting down these rumors. The trainees have already left Dachang as many of them have updated their social media accounts signaling that they have received their cell phones.
During this period, there were rumors buzzing survival shows wouldn’t be allowed in the next 3 years. However, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio and Television issued a notice on May 10 that laid out new policies that further strengthened the restrictions on the management of online variety shows. The bureau says that they will be strictly managing and regulating online talent shows. The notice specifically targets survival shows by restricting the programs from “following trends, similar subject matters, only focusing on appearances and traffic volume, excessive entertaining and other bad influences.”
The notice also includes a policy on fan voting systems: “The program cannot set up an event to ‘spend money to buy votes’, strictly prohibited from deliberately guiding and encouraging netizens to use material means such as shopping and buying membership to vote for candidates. It is strictly prohibited for any organization or individual to falsify data in the form of ‘spending money to buy votes’, ‘crowdfunding for votes’, and other means to interfere with the program’s selection process.”
In addition to the voting system, the notice stipulated the show must strictly vet the candidate’s background: “It is strictly forbidden to use any guest or candidate that have criminal records and bad social credit records, public opinion scandals, bad social influence, and other problems. It is strictly forbidden for minors to join talent competitions and similar online variety shows and determined to put an end to packaging and hyping child male and female celebrities.” The notice also laid out policies to to control the salaries of celebrities joining these shows to a reasonable amount. It also stated it is the responsibility of these online platforms to recognize the dangers and take responsibility when fans are irrationally showing support, issuing statements, chasing after stars and hyping stars, and other issues.
Based on the government’s newest policies, it seems there is a possibility for survival shows to continue in the future, but with much stricter control and overhaul of its entire system. The new policies will level the playing field for fan clubs that don’t have the funds to vote for their picks. The other major Chinese online streaming platform, Youku, has been recruiting male candidates for its upcoming international survival show, “Asia Super Young”. It’ll be interesting to see how Youku incorporates the new policies into its show.