Are you sure you qualify livestreaming for financial products?
Online marketing and sales of financial products will face tougher regulation, and promotions via livestreaming must be done by qualified professionals, according to a draft rule over Internet finance issued by the authorities.
New forms of marketing for financial products through livestreaming, social media accounts and Internet groups should be done by employees of financial institutions who hold relevant qualifications, says the draft rule jointly issued by seven ministries including the People's Bank of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the General Administration of Market Supervision.
The rule is for the solicitation of opinions. It is open for public comment until the end of January.
And financial institutions should strengthen pre-audit and retrospective management of marketing activities online, such as designating compliance personnel to watch livestreaming programs.
Names or images of academic institutions, trade associations and professionals – movie stars and celebrities in particular – cannot be used to recommend or guarantee financial products.
No institution or individual may provide online marketing services for illegal financial activities, including illegal fundraising, illegal securities issuance, illegal lending, illegal stock recommendations and virtual currency trading, according to the rules.
Marketing propaganda with false, fraudulent or misleading content is prohibited and financial institutions and their third-party Internet partners are not allowed to cite untrue, inaccurate or unverified data to promote financial products like loans, insurance and asset management products.
Marketing words like "products having being screened by or filed with industry watchdogs" should not be used to make them more attractive and reliable to investors.
Marketing promotions shall not affect users' normal use of the Internet and mobile terminals; If marketing is carried out in the form of pop-up pages, the closing sign shall be clearly marked to ensure consumers can close it with one click.
Non-bank payment service providers like Alipay and WeChat pay are prohibited from providing marketing services for loans and asset management products, and shall not offer these financial products as payment options for their users.
These new rules fill regulatory gaps on financial marketing activities done on Internet platforms, following measures on credit investigation services released late September by the central bank.
Boasting large customer bases and rich data, Internet partners mainly offer traditional financial industry players product marketing and customer credit information services.