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Xiaomi's video service suspended indefinitely

Chinese low-cost smartphone maker says its video content services is under system maintenance but a local report says the suspension may be due to licensing issues.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Chinese low-cost smartphone maker Xiaomi says its recently-launched TV set-top box is undergoing system maintenance and it will suspend its video content services indefinitely.

The company said in its online forum Thursday video content services for the Xiaomi Box will be suspended starting Nov. 23 for system maintenance and it will resume the service as soon as possible. The set-top box was launched last week on Nov. 14.

A separate report by Sina Tech Friday, however, said the service suspension was due to investigations by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). If Xiaomi is not able to get licensing approval from the government, it runs the risk of being forced to halt its video content delivery service, it said.

SARFT stipulates that companies wishing to provide TV set-top boxes can only provide content by approved providers, the report noted. The seven approved content providers are CNTV, BesTV, Southern Media, wasu.cn, China Internet Broadcast TV, Hunan Radio and Television, and Central People's Broadcasting Radio's CNBN.

As a result, Xiaomi will need to partner with one of the seven companies if it wishes to operate legally, Sina Tech noted.

Additionally, Internet TV aggregators cannot connect its service to online Web sites and deliver Internet content directly to users. The Xiaomi Box has been connecting users directly to online video content provided by Tencent and Sohu, which violates SARFT regulations, the report said.


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