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Internet celebrities carrying goods should not become a 'forbidden zone' in tourism supervision

Date: 2020-12-27

With the explosion of online and digital demand, a large number of "net celebrities" with their own traffic have emerged in the market. However, under the appearance of Zhongxing Pengyue, this product born in the era of the Internet explosion is breeding a lot of industry chaos .

On December 20th, the news of "short video platform Internet celebrity live broadcast for 299 yuan for 6 days and 5 nights Yunnan two-person travel card was intervened by relevant law enforcement agencies" was raging, bringing discussion, but also letting the industry discover and rectify the celebrity belt The cargo market has long roads.

Internet celebrities bring a lot of chaos, and punishment is a problem

The "2020 China Internet Audiovisual Development Research Report" shows that as of June 2020, the number of domestic Internet users has expanded to 940 million, and the number of short video users has reached 818 million. Short videos have become the first choice for more and more Internet users to obtain information.

With the increase of residents’ online shopping demand, in recent years, purchasing goods through online platforms such as short videos and live broadcasts has become one of the fastest-growing emerging consumption methods. The tourism industry has also begun to test the waters of live broadcasts. Tourism CEOs, employees of tourism companies, Travel expert KOLs became anchors, and even set a myth of tens of millions of dollars in daily sales.

Seeing business opportunities, some Internet celebrities have also begun to display products intuitively and dynamically using live video on social platforms. According to a data survey conducted by the Jiangsu Provincial Consumer Protection Committee, consumers use social software to shop mainly on short video platforms, accounting for 73.83%; among the factors that affect consumers’ purchasing decisions, “Internet celebrity recommendations” account for up to 47.57%.

Net celebrity products are occupying an increasingly important position in tapping the potential of consumption, but the problem of incorrect products sold by online celebrities is also endless.

Recently, a short video platform anchor "Gao Huo Huo" became popular. The reason for the fire was not to bring some new and interesting stories and stories, but to get on the news.

It is reported that Gao Huohuo sold a travel card with a unit price of 299 yuan in its live broadcast room, claiming that "6 days and 5 nights Yunnan two-person tour, high-end pure play group, no shopping, Mercedes-Benz pick-up and 1 million yuan insurance."

The words "low price", "high-end" and "pure play" have significantly increased the sales of this travel product, but some netizens said that after buying a travel card to participate in a group tour, they found that the product is not like a high-fire live broadcast room. As advertised, it is actually a pure shopping group, shopping from morning to night, suspected of deceiving consumers by false propaganda.

On December 15, the Yunnan Provincial Tourism Law Enforcement Corps stated: "This is a fraud and it is also selling Yunnan at a low price."

Calculated according to the 2020 reference cost of Yunnan’s main tourist routes and tourist product routes announced by the Yunnan Tourism Association and Yunnan Travel Agency Association, excluding the cost of scenic spots and round-trip air tickets. The cost of the route is 980 yuan per person. 'S tourism products are suspected to be "purchasing and supporting tourism" products.

Yang Yi, a lawyer from Beijing Huacheng Law Firm, stated that the Tourism Law explicitly prohibits travel agencies from enticing tourists to sign up for a group at a low price, and then obtain rebates through arranging shopping. If such behavior is discovered, the tourism authority will be responsible for punishment. , The penalty object is only travel agencies. If an online celebrity claims that the group did not shop, but actually did, it involves publishing false advertisements. The internet celebrities carrying goods in this incident may be advertising spokespersons, advertising operators, and advertising publishers. They need to be identified based on their roles and specific behaviors, and they are responsible for publishing false information in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Advertising Law. Advertising related responsibilities.

But it’s easier said than done. Regarding the penalty of “299 Yuan Yunnan Tour”, Zhang Hongtao, director of the Comprehensive Law Enforcement Supervision Bureau of the Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, told the media that after a preliminary investigation, it was found that the travel agency that launched the product was not in Yunnan. It's more difficult.

To put it simply, the local tourism behavior in Yunnan is supervised and investigated by the local cultural and tourism law enforcement department in Yunnan. The subject who violated the law is not in Yunnan, so it is difficult to punish directly. Moreover, even if tourists traveling in Yunnan provide clues, the investigation is blocked. With the long road to rights protection, many consumers will find it troublesome and do not hold them accountable, just as they have suffered.

Such "difficulty to check" is one of the main reasons for the many chaos of online celebrities carrying tourist products at this stage, and it is also a fundamental problem that the market must rectify.

The chaos in the industry is difficult to correct, when will the gray area reappear?

Focusing on online celebrities bringing goods, some people in the industry have publicly stated that almost all low-priced products sold by online celebrities are illegal. Either the online celebrities are not qualified to sell travel products, or the unqualified online celebrities sell fake travel agencies. The product.

If you want to find Internet celebrities, you will have the same problems as travel agencies. These people are only selling on the Internet, and most of them are not in Yunnan. The Yunnan tourism products sold do not belong to the local travel agency. Even if you find the Internet celebrities themselves, they often fail to treat the symptoms. To cure the root cause, Internet celebrities will either shirk or simply indicate that they are under the supervision of the platform and find the platform if they have problems.

Therefore, platforms often have great responsibilities.

"For online celebrity live broadcasts, short video platforms/live broadcast platforms must sign an agreement with the internet celebrities. Once the types of online celebrities bring goods beyond the prescribed scope, they should be dealt with in a timely manner." Said Li Yunpeng, a professor of management.

Regarding the question of whether the short video platform has internal regulations on the content and types of online celebrity delivery, Pincheng Travel has also consulted several well-known short video platforms, but it did not receive a clear response until the deadline.

In order to regulate platform behaviors, the introduction of relevant policies and regulations, and targeted strengthening of market supervision is the only way.

Duan Guoqiang, a member of the National Tourism Standardization Technical Committee, a member of the Research Base Certification Committee of the China Association of Travel Agencies, and the former second-level inspector of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, publicly stated that in response to the suspected illegal handling of the promotion of packaged tour products on the short video platform The department should establish a cross-regional joint law enforcement mechanism, and the tourism and cultural administrative departments in the place where the product is sold and where the product is consumed jointly investigate and deal with it.

"Offline travel agencies have business, tax, and tourism law enforcement teams, and various news media agencies are in charge, but online travel agencies are difficult to supervise. The law enforcement teams cannot deal with platforms outside the province, or even the platforms in this province. Because the platform is an electronic technology company, law enforcement is very difficult in this regard.” An industry insider once said publicly.

In October 2020, the "Interim Regulations on the Management of Online Travel Operation Services" launched for online travel operation services were officially implemented, providing a new basis for online travel business regulations. Article 22 stipulates that: platform operators shall immediately take necessary rescue and disposal measures when discovering the following situations, and report to the cultural and tourism authorities at or above the county level in a timely manner according to law. Among them is "the operator on the platform operates the travel agency business without permission."

Miao Huimin, a lawyer at Beijing Yihe Law Firm, said that the platform belongs to an electronic technology company, so it should abide by the provisions of the "E-Commerce Law" and "Interim Provisions on the Management of Online Tourism Operation Services." Among them, Article 5 of the "Interim Regulations on the Administration of Online Tourism Operation Services" clarifies that the local cultural and tourism authorities at or above the county level shall be responsible for the supervision and management of online tourism operation services within their respective jurisdictions in accordance with the division of responsibilities. If the platform fails to perform its verification and registration obligations in accordance with the law, the administrative agency may punish it in accordance with the law, and the judicial agency may require it to be liable for compensation to consumers.

The promulgation of relevant policies will to a certain extent curb the short video platform’s restrictions on the content of its publications, but on the other hand, it is also somewhat biased to push the responsibility to the platform.