China tightens online video regulations

Government calls on online video content providers in China to be "socially responsible" and only make "beneficial" shows available for public viewing.

Online video content providers in China are required to ensure the shows they offer online are "beneficial", says the government.

In a joint circular on Monday, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television and the State Internet Information Office said online video content providers play a role similar to mass media broadcasters so they need to be "socially responsible" in terms of uploading shows on their platform.

Content providers will need to examine the content of the videos to ensure that only "beneficial" shows are broadcasted online, it noted.

In a follow-up circular, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television said online videos, such as Web dramas and microfilms, have been growing fast in China. However, some of the Internet shows available have "vulgar content" with bad language, sex, and uncensored violence, it noted.

The regulation set in place was driven in part by the request of Internet users to protect younger viewers and to promote the production of "outstanding" online video content, the agency said.