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.
Dutch brewing company Heineken NV yesterday said that it has reached an agreement to acquire a subsidiary brewery of Taiwan’s Sanyo Whisbih Group (三洋維士比集團). Heineken is to assume majority ownership and management rights of the Long Chuan Zuan Co (龍泉鑽興業) brewery in Pingtung County’s Neipu Township (內埔), the Dutch company said. It would become the first multinational brewing company to operate brewery in Taiwan once the acquisition is completed. The deal has been approved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission, but details of the financial transaction cannot be disclosed at this time, as terms of the settlement have not been completed,
Had Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck hopped on an electric scooter rather than a Vespa in the classic film Roman Holiday, their spin around the Eternal City might have ended in tears. The number of crashes and near-misses involving the two-wheelers has prompted Rome authorities to impose some order on a booming rental market that began two years ago. The havoc came to a head earlier this month when two US tourists attempted a night-time drive down the Spanish Steps, causing more than 25,000 euros (US$26,392) worth of damage to the 18th-century monument. Caught on security footage, the couple in their late 20s
LOOK WHO OWES: China’s exposure to Taiwanese banks was the second-largest, with Luxembourg third, followed by Hong Kong and Japan, the central bank said The US remained the largest debtor country to Taiwan’s banking sector for a 27th consecutive quarter in the first quarter of this year, with its exposure rising 8.3 percent from a quarter earlier on the back of an increase in US bonds, the central bank said on Friday. Data compiled by the central bank showed that outstanding international claims by Taiwanese banks on a direct risk basis to the US stood at US$125.38 billion as of the end of March. Department of Financial Inspection deputy head Pan Ya-hui (潘雅慧) said that the US Federal Reserve’s launch of a rate hike cycle in
GREEN CITY: The company is set to invest US$8 billion to make electric vehicles and batteries for a new city that would rely entirely on renewable energy sources Indonesia said that Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is considering investing in the country’s new capital city, a move that would bolster the US$34 billion construction project. Hon Hai, which is known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), is looking at setting up an electric bus system and an Internet of Things network at Nusantara, as Indonesia’s new capital is to be called, Indonesian Minister of Investment Bahlil Lahadalia said in a statement yesterday. Hon Hai chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Saturday to discuss the company’s plan to invest US$8 billion to build a manufacturing plant