Tudou Shutdown Reports: What’s Going On?

tudouSpeculation continues to swirl around the fate of Chinese YouTube copycat Tudou, which continues to function despite reportedly being slapped with a shut down order by the State Authority for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT; 国家广播电影电视总局). Chinese Internet expert and anti-censorship crusader Rebecca MacKinnon reviews the rumors and offers up one of the more reasoned theories we’ve heard so far:

It smells as though some kind of substantial power struggle must be going on for control of online content, broadcast content, and beyond… resulting in all kinds of mixed signals. Don’t forget that some members of the Chinese media openly opposed the new SARFT regulations. Perhaps certain parts of the Chinese media are being used as proxies – or are maybe even taking sides – in this battle? If the shutdown order was indeed issued (which seems very likely) and Tudou is ignoring it, they must have some strong backing in the bureaucracy somewhere to push back against SARFT, no?

“Backing in the bureaucracy” is among the most popular explanations for why certain high-powered journalists like Southern Metropolis Daily’s Chang Ping (长平) and Lu Yuegang of China Youth Daily are still allowed to publish despite having made very public statements opposing government press censorship.

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