China tightens rules for video streaming on social platforms

Updated 2017-01-24 15:24:40 CGTN

China's media watchdog has set out a raft of new measures in a bid to strengthen regulations on streaming services provided by online social platforms.

Platforms including WeChat and Weibo should all be officially accredited in the first place, which means they need a license for publication of audio-visual program, according to the latest rules released by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) on Monday.

The new rules also state that video service providers will be held accountable for all shared content, to ensure that all broadcasts "don't go beyond the scope of businesses clarified in the license", and those social accounts that violate relevant laws and regulations will face being shut down.

The statement also said that any films and TV series streamed on social platforms should be licensed, and other video content including documentaries, variety shows and news programs should stick to relevant stipulations. News programs related to politics and current affairs that are produced by unlicensed individuals will be banned.

The new regulations come amid a boom in video-sharing services on social platforms, along with a flourishing social media sector.

The massively popular Chinese messaging app WeChat, where users can share pictures and videos, is now close to having one billion monthly active users. China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo is now approaching 300 million active users, partly boosted by its streaming of millions of video programs, including many popular live broadcasts.

The boom in streaming services has however also brought challenges to regulators, as the sheer amount of content being posted means that illegal videos that include pornography and violence often go unchecked when uploaded onto social platforms.

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