China's broadcast and film regulator recently ordered online video streaming platforms not to post "uncut" versions of TV series, entertainment shows or movies.
"Posting programs that are so called 'complete versions,' 'uncut versions' or 'uncut clips' on online and broadcast platforms is not allowed," read the notice released Thursday by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
"Online media should keep pace with TV programs by using the same standards and same criteria. TV series and movies that are not examined and approved by the regulator cannot be broadcast online," the notice reads.
However, the Global Times found TV series and movies labeled as being "uncut" could still be found on popular streaming websites, including Youku and iQiyi, as of press time.
In China, TV series and movies have to go through two rounds of approval: in the first round, regulators order "improper" scenes to be cut before the producer of the show or film can receive a license for the work's publication in China, according to the Beijing Youth Daily Saturday.
The second round is done by the broadcasters, who cut TV series or movies for commercial reasons. For instance the 40-episode The Qin Empire was cut down to 34 episodes when it was broadcast by TV stations.
Versions of shows which have gone through the first round of approval, but not the second, can attract more viewers when they are posted online, said the Beijing Youth Daily.