Tag: finances

New law aims to protect finances, privacy of child social media stars

Some young children earn millions of dollars through social media influencing and promotion, but there’s little legislation or protection for most. A new law in France aims to try to safeguard children under the age of 16, protecting their finances and providing some privacy.

The legislation, which was passed unanimously by the French parliament on Oct. 6, creates a “legal framework” that gives social media stars the same protections as French child models and actors.

A press release about the law says videos of child influencers online raise “important questions about the interests of the children they portray” and raises questions about the “impact celebrity can have on the psychological development of children, the risks of cyber-harassment, even child pornography, and the fact that these activities are not regulated by labor law.”

Bruno Studer, the politician behind the bill, told the French newspaper Le Monde that the law would make France a pioneer in the rights of child social media stars.

“Children’s rights must be preserved and protected, including on the internet, which must not be a lawless area,” Studer told La Tribune, another publication.

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The multi-part legislation “guarantees that the conditions of employment” for social media influencers under the age of 16 are “compatible with his schooling and the safeguard of his health.” The majority of a child’s income garnered from social media influencing must be paid to a specific French public sector financial institution, which will hold and manage that money until the child comes of age. The law also places limits on how many hours a child can work as an influencer.

Another part of the law also gives children some protection from the platforms on which they post. One piece of the legislation “makes platforms participate more actively in the detection of problematic audiovisual content” and “creates an obligation of cooperation with public authorities.” Platforms face a fine of 75,000 euros, or around $88,700, for not complying with these obligations.

The legislation also includes a “right to erasure,” which means that minors can ask platforms to take down images of themselves and requires platforms to comply.

Children can earn millions of dollars online. According to Forbes, an American child named Ryan Kaji made more than $20 million in 2018 by reviewing toys on YouTube.

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China’s ‘three red lines’ strike delicate balance between curbing real estate debt and local government finances

As China moves to tackle excessive borrowing in the real estate sector, it is walking a tightrope between providing cash-strapped local governments with revenues from land sales and keeping a lid on rising house prices.

Chinese regulators in August tightened funding conditions for 12 major property developers, setting caps on the amount of debt they could hold in relation to cash on hand, the value of their assets and as a proportion of equity in their businesses – dubbed “the three red lines”.

Last week, mainland financial newspaper the 21st Century Business Herald reported authorities had asked large banks to keep the proportion of property loans below 30 per cent of all new loans, citing unidentified sources.

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Property sales growth has surged this year, helping the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. But it has also raised the alarm among top Communist Party officials who fret speculation in the real estate sector could increase house prices further.

In July, the Politburo – the party’s top decision-making body – stressed President Xi Jinping’s mantra that houses are “for living in, not for speculation”.

Given attempts to reign in property funding, analysts expect local government land sales to developers to weaken in coming months, something that could hurt regional finances and weigh on the broader economy.

“We don’t think Beijing wants to kill the property sector. After all, the economy is still running below its trend growth,” Macquarie Group said in a report last month.

“But it does send out a strong signal that Beijing wants to cool down the sector to save the ammo for the future. As such, property investment could peak soon.”

Zhang Ming, a researcher with the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said in August the central government does not want to see a sharp drop in property prices because it could cause risks for commercial banks, private wealth and local governments.

Land sales have been an integral part of China’s government finances at all levels over the past decade, according to research by Kate Jaquet, a portfolio manager at US-based Seafarer Capital Partners.

In China, land is owned by the state and the sale of land and user rights have been rising steadily since 2010, making up 38.6 per cent of China’s central government revenue last year, compared to 35.5 per cent in 2018, and 30.2 per cent in 2017, Seafarer Capital Partners said.

“One plausible explanation as to why Chinese authorities have allowed the listed portion of the sector to lever up so substantially, contrary to their stated commitment to reduce leverage in the financial system, is that this arrangement has been beneficial to the financial standing of the central and local governments,” Jaquet said in the June report.

Despite Beijing’s push for local governments to increase the use of municipal bonds for financing, regional economies still

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