China in New Crackdown on Internet Video and Audio

Kathrin Hille reports from Beijing for the Financial Times:

The Chinese government has ordered a new crackdown on online video and audio content which could result in a tightening of and limit the broadcasting of western films and entertainment programmes on the web.

In a notice published on its website earlier this week, the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television published a long list of video and audio content which it declared illegal.

The statement warned internet companies that they must edit or erase such content.

In addition, it said that foreign films, television series, cartoons and other TV programmes could only be broadcast on the internet after the site operator obtains an individual licence for the respective programme.

It was unclear whether the move was part of an overall effort to tighten control over the internet or was motivated by an attempt to block a back door for foreign entertainment content into the Chinese market.

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