China has mandated real names to be used for registration before online users are permitted to upload videos to local video websites, expanding further controls on the types of content posted online.
The new directive was introduced to "prevent vulgar content, base art forms, exaggerated violence, and sexual content in Internet video [from] having a negative effect on society", the country's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) stated on its website.
China's online population has climbed to over 618 million, with almost 250 million accessing the Web to watch or download video content via their smartphones. Video websites popular among users include market leader Youku Tudou, Renren, and iQiyi.
The Chinese government in 2012 ordered microbloggers or weibo users to register their accounts with their real names, and last year extended this requirement to include prepaid mobile Internet cards and fixed-line phone services.
It also introduced a new directive stating online users who shared false information deemed defamatory, or could affect national interest, would face up to three years in prison if their posts garnered 5,000 views or were forwarded 500 times. It proceeded to make several arrests of microbloggers, including high-profile personalities such as Charles Xue, and filed charges against Web portals, as part of increased efforts to clamp down on online rumors.
The Chinese government also has been assessing new methods of censoring Internet search results.