Chinese Internet authorities have formalized controversial rules regulating the nation’s fast-growing live-streaming video industry, in a move that strips out smaller competitors and places hard-line surveillance measures on leading firms.
In an announcement posted on its Web site yesterday, the Cyberspace Administration of China grouped a handful of earlier restrictions under a final 24-point regulation that is to come into effect on Dec. 1.
The rules require streaming services to log user data and content for 60 days, and to work with regulators to provide information on users who stream content that the government deems threatening to national security or social order.
Both users and providers are punishable under the regulations.
The law also codifies rules that ban online news broadcasting services from original reporting, requiring them to identify sources and non-selectively reproduce state-sanctioned information.
China’s live-video streaming industry has experienced booming growth in the past two years as dozens of video and social media sites scrambled to add the updated capabilities to their existing services.
Credit Suisse Group AG analysts estimate the industry could top US$5 billion by the end of next year, driven by cheap bandwidth and a growing population of young mobile users.
The industry’s exponential growth attracted increased scrutiny from government authorities this year.
In April, Chinese authorities called on 20 of the nation’s top firms to join a self-criticism coalition, saying the industry was damaging China’s youth by proliferating content including pornography, fraud and terrorism.
On June 1, companies including Baidu Inc (百度), Sina Corp (新浪), Sohu.com Inc (搜狐) and Youku Tudou Inc (優酷土豆) acknowledged the new rules as part of the group, including requirements for real-name authentication.
While the latest move places wide-reaching restrictions on the Web sites, it also signals an official sanctioning of the industry and its top players by Chinese officials.
Much like China’s earlier online video and music industries, the regulations put pressure on smaller competitors and bring larger firms into line with regulators, offering more growth opportunities for a smaller number of controllable companies.
“One of the things the government always wants to do is narrow the playing field to a smaller number of higher profile known entities, ideally ones that have a better track record of cooperating with the government,” Marbridge Consulting managing director Mark Natkin said.
“In the long run it’s actually relatively beneficial to the large companies,” he said.
In May, the government handed down 588 licenses for prominent media outlets and live-streaming sites, effectively banning all unapproved services.
Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗) yesterday reported higher neutralizing antibody levels in people who were given its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster after two AstraZeneca doses, the company said. In a trial of 200 participants who received Medigen’s COVID-19 vaccine, neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 grew by 5.7 times one month after being administered, Taoyuan General Hospital said. Medigen said that the results have been submitted to medRxiv, an online platform for researchers to share complete but unpublished papers. Another trial conducted by National Taiwan University Hospital showed that among 45 participants who received three doses of the Medigen vaccine,
BEATING EXPECTATIONS: With electric vehicles and the metaverse on the horizon, the company predicts a solid first quarter as customers stockpile inventories Key iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) could achieve an “unprecedented” performance in the first quarter, chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) said. “Our performance in the first quarter might surpass how we fared in the past few years, and it is likely that some staff at key sites might only get two days off during the Lunar New Year holiday,” Liu said in prepared remarks for the company’s annual workers’ party yesterday. Manufacturers around the world are racing to build up inventory out of fear that outbreaks of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 and other uncertainties could further disrupt their supply
The US Department of Commerce on Tuesday said that a global survey of semiconductor chip producers and users shows a shortage will persist, sparked primarily by wafer production capacity constraints. The voluntary survey of 150 companies last fall in the supply chain confirmed “there is a significant, persistent mismatch in supply and demand for chips, and respondents did not see the problem going away in the next six months.” US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo told reporters that the department “in a few instances didn’t really get what we needed and we’re going to go company by company and do personal engagement
EV ‘ECOSYSTEM’: The firms have agreed to work with the Indonesian government and others in creating infrastructure for the country’s growing EV market Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) yesterday made a major step toward a foothold in the world’s electric vehicle (EV) market by signing partnership agreements with the Indonesian government and local energy and battery companies, in which local EV supplier Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) would also take part. Hon Hai, the world’s largest electronics manufacturing company, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indonesian Ministry of Investment, battery maker PT Industri Baterai Indonesia, PT Indika Energy and Gogoro to build a sustainable energy ecosystem in Indonesia, a joint statement said. The government-level deal came after Hon Hai last year unveiled its first EV