China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has launched a new centralised ticketing system for the country’s growing live performance sector.

According to Sixth Tone, an English-language news platform operated by the state-run Shanghai United Media Group, the new system will help to “regulate sales and deter scalpers from reselling tickets illegally, usually at higher prices”.

All domestic ticketing systems for live performances — including music, dance, comedy, and plays — will be linked to a national ticketing information management platform, with unified standards for sales, distribution and refunds.

The report added that the China Association of Performing Arts, which was involved in launching the centralised platform, believes it will “facilitate reliable data analysis on various kinds of performances, while keeping tabs on the ticket sales”. 

The report added that the platform has been launched following criticism of some local and national vendors and event operators for setting aside tickets for “speculation and scalping”. In an effort to curb such practices, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2017 introduced a new measure that required event operators to sell at least 70% of tickets for commercial performances directly to the public.

The Ministry launched the new Performance Ticketing Service and Technical Specification system yesterday (Thursday).

There has been a rising demand for live performances in the country. According to an industry report published by Damai.cn, one of China’s largest online ticketing platforms, the sector generated revenue of more than RMB20bn (£2.3bn/$3bn/€2.6bn) in 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted the 2020 schedule. 

In June 2021, China held its largest music performance since the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020, which saw 10,000 attendees watch rock band, Re-Tros. 

The event was held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, which has welcomed international acts, such as The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. The venue opened in 2010. 

Image: Edward Cisneros on Unsplash