Only listen to government approved content
(Radio Free Asia) - China's powerful media regulator has issued shutdown orders to three leading video streaming sites amid a nationwide crackdown on online media.
Microblogging platform Sina Weibo, popular online video site ACFUN and news portal iFeng.com have been ordered to halt video streaming services that violate regulations restricting online media, the TV and film watchdog said on Thursday.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) announced the move in a statement on its official website, saying it was part of a bid to create "a clean online environment."
The move comes after the agency announced a ban last December on user-generated audio and video, in a country where all news is controlled by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
The rules said that any audio or video content posted by users must have government approval in the form of transmission licenses.
Social media providers are also required to limit audio and video content to that produced by state-approved providers, who already hold an "audiovisual online transmission license," it said.
Such licenses are very hard to obtain, are generally not held by online content providers, and are only held by some 300 organizations in China, sources told RFA at the time.
Shares in SINA Corp and Weibo Corp fell on Friday on the news, Reuters reported.
Hebei-based veteran journalist Zhu Xinxin said the government is afraid that spontaneous online video could spark political reactions among Chinese people.
"The Chinese Communist Party is controlling this sort of things, because they are mostly afraid that somebody could post anything at any time showing some breaking news in any part of the country," he said. "In particular, they don't want to see any kind of mass incident."
"In addition, the government doesn't want the general public to hear about news that shows it in an unfavorable light," he said. "They are afraid that social media users will leak stuff like that, and tell the whole world about it."
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