胡泳 | Anti-porn watchdog to revoke Sina licences

http://www.scmp.com/news/china-insider/article/1495986/anti-porn-watchdog-revoke-sina-internet-portals-licences-over

Anti-porn watchdog to revoke Sina internet
portal’s licences over ‘erotic’ content

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 April, 2014, 9:06pm

UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2014, 3:16am

Wu Nan and Chris Luo

China¡¯s
anti-pornography authorities say they plan to revoke licences owned by
Sina.com, a massive portal run by internet giant Sina Corp, in what observers
say is a surprisingly harsh move.

Shares in
the Nasdaq-listed company fell more than 7 per cent when the market opened but
rose slightly to hit US$50.6 just before noon.

The joint
co-ordinating body against obscenity said it found 20 ¡°pornographic and erotic¡±
e-books on Sina.com¡¯s reading channel along with four pornographic audio-visual
programmes in its channel for user-generated videos.

The
authorities also said they would impose a fine of up to 10 times the profit
Nasdaq-listed Sina Corp gained from the alleged smut.

Several
suspects, their numbers unknown, were also placed under the Beijing police¡¯s
custody for investigation, the watchdog said. It was not immediately clear if
the suspects were Sina.com users or employees, or what charges they would face.

Sina.com,
widely seen as the Chinese equivalent of Yahoo, offers various kinds of content
including news, videos and an e-commerce service.

In a
statement delivered to Sina Corp, the authorities said they planned to cancel
Sina¡¯s Internet Publication Permit and Online Audio-Video Programme Licence, The
Beijing News
says. It did not say when the licences would be revoked.

This
would bar Sina.com from offering e-books, audio and video content to its
millions of daily users. Sina.com is said to have more than 230 million
registered users and draws 700 million hits a day.

Although
its news operation will be untouched, and its sheer scope means it will not
lose too many its users, experts say the sanctions will have a chilling effect
on Sina and other websites.

¡°The
official notice to punish Sina.com certainly has an impact. It will frighten
other websites about their own content generation,¡± said Hu Yong, associate
professor at Peking University¡¯s School of Journalism and Communication.

¡°Chinese
government has a tradition to use special operations to inspect Internet, but
the true purpose is usually hidden,” he said. “The tension between
government regulations and Internet operations will continue.¡±

The body,
also known as the National Office of Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal
Publications, and the internet police have launched a crackdown on online obscenity
two weeks ago, as part of wider campaign to tighten its grip on the internet.

So far at
least 110 websites across the nation have been shut and some 3,300
pornography-related accounts have been blocked.

The China
National Internet Information Office and the obscenity watchdog are
targeting to eliminate any content that may ¡°corrupt¡± the youth.

Sina has
the right to request a hearing and ask for an administrative review on the
decision, reported the Beijing News.

In an
official statement published on Weibo on Thursday, Sina apologised to users for
failing to “scrutinise” parts of its contents, and said it would
fully cooperate with authorities.

The
announcement came barely one week after the initial public offering of Weibo, a
social media service owned by Sina and Alibaba, in New York. The stock sale
raised US$285.6 million, and put Weibo¡¯s total valuation at US$3.46 billion.


This article appeared in the South China Morning Post
print edition as Smut watchdog to pull Sina’s licences

本文由自动聚合程序取自网络,内容和观点不代表数字时代立场

墙外新闻实时更新 欢迎订阅数字时代



2014年4月24日, 6:45 下午
分类: 公民博客
专题: ,