Regulation and Policies: Shaping the Landscape of Digital People in China

Regulation and Policies: Shaping the Landscape of Digital People in China

The advent of digital people, also known as virtual or digital human beings, has ignited a revolution in the world of online content creation. These virtual individuals, driven by advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, have found their niche across various online platforms. The regulation and policies surrounding digital people vary greatly among these platforms, influencing their evolution and impact. This essay explores the diverse ways in which platforms approach the regulation and policies governing digital people, using real-world examples to illustrate their effects.

Platform Attitudes and Examples:

  1. Embracing Digital People: Some platforms have chosen to embrace digital people wholeheartedly, viewing them as a source of creativity and innovation. A prime example of this attitude can be seen on Kuaishou, a popular short-video platform. Kuaishou has actively integrated digital people into its ecosystem, allowing them to create accounts and conduct live broadcasts with minimal restrictions. This permissive approach has enabled digital people to flourish and showcase their versatility. For instance, on Kuaishou, users can find a variety of 2D digital individuals engaging in live broadcasts and other forms of content creation.
  2. Regulating Digital People: On the flip side, some platforms have opted for a more regulatory stance towards digital people. Douyin, another prominent short-video platform, exemplifies this approach. Recognizing the potential impact of digital humans on content quality and authenticity, Douyin has implemented strict regulations. For instance, the platform requires real-time human-driven interactions in digital human content to ensure accountability and maintain a certain level of authenticity. This regulation aims to curb potential misuse or fraudulent activities associated with digital people.
  3. Neutrality and Adaptability: Certain leading platforms maintain a neutral stance, neither actively promoting nor restricting digital people. They prefer to let the trend evolve organically, adapting to user preferences and market dynamics. This approach fosters diversity in content, allowing a wide range of creators and audiences to coexist harmoniously. TikTok, for example, has taken a neutral stance towards digital people. While they do not actively promote digital human content, they also do not impose strict regulations, allowing the trend to develop naturally.
  4. Official Digital People: Some platforms have introduced official digital people as a means of providing users with trusted sources of digital human content. Taobao Live Room, a popular e-commerce livestreaming platform, is a prime example of this approach. Taobao Live Room has launched official digital individuals who adhere to specific guidelines and standards set by the platform. These official digital people often serve as brand ambassadors or spokespersons, enhancing the credibility of digital human content and providing users with a reliable source of information.
  5. MCN Organizations: Multi-Channel Network (MCN) organizations also play a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of digital people. Their perspectives on this emerging phenomenon can influence its proliferation and success within their networks. For instance, some MCNs view digital people as complementary additions to their portfolio of creators. Others may actively invest in digital human content as a strategic move to stay ahead in the evolving content creation landscape.

Impact and Implications:

Platform attitudes towards digital people are influenced by factors such as user preferences, content quality, regulatory considerations, and competition among platforms. These attitudes play a significant role in shaping the trajectory of digital people as a form of content creation. The extent to which platforms embrace or regulate digital people has profound implications for their long-term viability and success.


The emergence of digital people represents a pivotal moment in the evolution of online content creation. Platform attitudes towards digital people vary widely, ranging from enthusiastic embrace to cautious regulation. As digital people continue to captivate audiences and evolve in form and function, the regulatory landscape and policies governing them will remain critical factors in defining their role in the digital world. Achieving a balance between creativity, authenticity, and regulation will be essential to harness the full potential of this exciting trend.