Dealing with social media influencers—China
Produced in partnership with Grace Guo of Hogan Lovells and Stefaan Meuwissen of Hogan Lovells

The following TMT practice note produced in partnership with Grace Guo of Hogan Lovells and Stefaan Meuwissen of Hogan Lovells provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dealing with social media influencers—China
  • Influencer endorsement
  • Disclosure requirements
  • Types of breaches and sanctions
  • False advertising
  • Prohibited endorsements
  • Platform liabilities
  • Regulations, codes and guidelines and key information relating to influencers
  • Oversight of influencer endorsement activities
  • Ownership of the rights to sponsored content created by influencers
  • More...

Dealing with social media influencers—China

This Practice Note is aimed primarily at brands wishing to engage with influencers (or other talent) for particular social marketing campaigns and advertising promotions in China. It covers:

  1. Influencer endorsement

  2. Disclosure requirements

  3. Types of breaches and sanctions

  4. Regulations, codes and guidelines and key information relating to influencers

  5. Oversight of influencer endorsement activities

  6. Ownership of the rights to sponsored content created by influencers

  7. Responses to inaccurate brand messaging, rogue behaviour and mistakes

  8. Key provisions found in influencer agreements

Influencer endorsement

Influencer ‘endorsement’ is mainly regulated under the Chinese Advertising Law (CAL), which is the main body of legislation governing commercial advertising activities in China. The CAL applies broadly to commercial advertising activities in which commodity dealers or service providers directly or indirectly present goods or services marketed by them within China.

Up to 2015, the CAL contained no provisions in relation to endorsements or influencer activities. When a new version of the CAL was adopted in 2015, however, a definition of ‘endorsers’ (in China also often called ‘Key Opinion Leader’, ‘KOL’ or ‘关键意见领袖’) and specific provisions directed at endorser activities were enshrined in the CAL. Endorsers are defined in a broad and neutral way as: ‘natural persons, legal persons or other organisations other than advertisers that recommend or demonstrate products or services in their name or image in advertisements’ (see Article 2 of CAL).

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