China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo will shut down the uploading access of video clips that are over 15 minutes in length as part of reform on its online audio-visual service, according to an official announcement made by the social media network on Wednesday.
The announcement said the leading micro-blogging site with more than 340 million monthly active users is also expected to ban accounts without license for online broadcasting from screening politically-related video programs on the platform in an attempt to further strengthen regulations on video content.
The move came after China's TV and film watchdog, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) asked three major web portals, including Weibo, the news site Ifeng.com, and ACFUN, a popular video platform to halt their multi-media streaming service for a lack of certificate on video publication.
In a statement posted last Thursday on its official website the administration said the targeted portals have publicized "many politically-related programs that do not conform with state rules and social commentary programs that present negative remarks and opinions."
"The administration has ordered authorities in charge to shut down the video and audio service on the websites and carry out an overhaul to provide netizens a cleaner cyberspace," it said in the statement.
"We sincerely accept criticism by the government and will improve the overall supervision on the audio and visual programs," Weibo responded, adding it will further enhance cooperation with state media including CCTV and Xinhua News Agency to present the mainstream of public opinions.
Weibo also noted that all films and TV series without authorized publication permissions will be shielded and blocked from the network as part of the rectification move.
The tightened regulation on videos on social media platforms follows a disciplinary effort earlier this month where Beijing Cyberspace Administration ordered over sixty social media accounts including the notorious "China's No. 1 Paparazzi Zhuo Wei" to be suspend from service for disseminating commercial speculation and defaming celebrities by instigating rumors about their private lives.