According to Itxinwen.com and Marbridge Consulting, China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) recently issued a notice that it plans to strengthen control and regulation of online news broadcasts distribution.
This notice, which announced upcoming investigations into internet firms, aimed in particular at those which produce their own news content, reminds operators to get the proper licence to produce or publish news content.
According to Marbridge, the target of this new regulation seems to be “wiping out video news content that doesn’t come from state-backed national or regional TV stations or providers, and locking down who gets to produce or disseminate news in general”.
News content production and distribution is particularly under scrutiny some days before the 1st July 90th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party foundation.
China government and its audiovisual regulation body SARFT know that 86.4% of China internet users watch video online, which is close to 340 million and should reach 400 million at the end of 2011 (Analysis International).
Total effective browsing time in Q1 2011 reached 3,64 billion hours, up 22.1% from the previous quarter (according to iResearch).
In order to avoid any political problem, Tudou recently removed its news channel and replaced it by a “Focus” channel which now shows a variety of amusing video clips. Competitors Youku and Ku6 both continue to feature a news channel.
SOURCES: The Marbridge Daily, penn-olson.com, RapidTVNews (28 & 29/06/2011)