The government is to introduce legislation to prevent Chinese media outlets from exploiting a legal loophole to illegally operate over-the-top (OTT) services in Taiwan, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said yesterday, amid reports that China Central Television (CCTV) could soon begin services in the nation.
The Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) on Wednesday reported that CCTV plans to follow the model of Chinese OTT service providers iQiyi (愛奇藝) and Tencent Video (騰訊視頻), and begin operations in Taiwan.
The companies have been able to skirt a rule banning Chinese OTT service providers from operating in Taiwan without permission by contracting local distributors and platform providers, the Liberty Times said.
Photo courtesy of a reader
Asked to comment on the report, Kolas described the model as a “breach of democracy,” whose existence the government would not sit back and tolerate.
The government would introduce new legislation or amendments to existing laws to keep Chinese OTT service providers from exploiting the loophole, Kolas said, adding that legislative efforts were set in motion last year.
Reiterating that the government prohibits any foreign OTT service provider from operating in the nation without its permission, she said it is regrettable that some Chinese companies have circumvented the rule by enlisting local partners.
As some people have paid for membership of the services, any forthcoming changes would guarantee that their rights are protected, she added.
After iQiyi’s application to launch local operations was rejected by the National Communications Commission in 2016, it has been operating under a partnership with its local distributor, OTT (歐銻銻).
Pan-green camp lawmakers have since expressed concerns that programs offered on the Web site could contain content aimed at pushing Beijing’s “united front” agenda.
The commission yesterday said that the government is drafting an act to govern OTT content, adding that it could be used to handle issues related to Chinese operators.
The bill stipulates that issues related to the Chinese firms — such as their use of partners to circumvent local laws to broadcast OTT content in Taiwan — would be addressed through the collective efforts of various government agencies, it said.
The Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) stipulates that Chinese companies can only invest in certain categories of goods and services, which do not include OTT broadcasts, it added.
Regarding reports that Chinese OTT providers have been promoting their services and garnering members through their local agents, the commission said that it is handling the matter to ensure that operators comply with the nation’s laws.
The Cabinet on Sept. 26 last year decided that OTT services would be jointly overseen by the commission, the Ministry of Culture and the Mainland Affairs Council, it said.
The commission oversees OTT broadcasts from abroad, but Chinese content — including movies, prerecorded shows, and radio and TV programs — would first be subject to regulation by the ministry and the council, it added.
The commission said that it would soon unveil the bill after discussions with all other relevant government agencies.
This story has been amended since it was first published.
TAIWAN PROTECTION MEASURE: US Army General Charles Flynn would not say where in the Asia-Pacific the missiles would be sent, but only that they would arrive in 2024 The US is to send medium-range missiles including the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk to the Asia-Pacific next year to deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan, US military news Web site Defense One reported. The report cited comments US Army General Charles Flynn made during the annual Halifax International Security Forum on Nov. 19. “We have tested them and we have a battery or two of them today,” Flynn was quoted as saying. “In 24. We intend to deploy that system in your region. I’m not going to say where and when. But I will just say that we will
LOYALTY: The 10 active and retired soldiers betrayed the nation and its people by leaking and passing on military secrets to China, the High Prosecutors’ Office said Ten former and current military officers were yesterday indicted on charges of spying for China, including two who allegedly filmed themselves pledging loyalty to Beijing. The High Prosecutors’ Office requested life imprisonment for the suspects in light of the severity of the crime. The 10 active-duty and retired officers included members of the 601st Brigade of the Aviation Special Forces comprising attack helicopter squadrons and elite combat units in charge of defending northern Taiwan, including Taipei. The other suspects came from Huadong Defense Command, in charge of defending the eastern coast; Kinmen Defense Command, in charge of defending Kinmen and Matsu; and one
NO FREE LUNCH: Taiwanese joining the trips to China met TAO and United Front Work officials who urged them to vote for candidates who support closer ties with Beijing The Ciaotou Prosecutors’ Office in Kaohsiung yesterday released two suspects on bail who have been accused of recruiting Taiwanese to join tours to China funded by Beijing and in which they were urged to vote for pan-blue candidates in January’s presidential and legislative elections. The pan-blue camp generally refers to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party, the New Party and the Young China Party, which support closer relations with China. Prosecutors said that a man, surnamed Cheng (鄭), and a woman, surnamed Yeh (葉), who are members of the China Pan-Blue Association, recruited Taiwanese tourists to join tours arranged
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday slammed a proposal by New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, to permit a “significant number” of Chinese students to study and work in Taiwan, saying it would be detrimental to young Taiwanese. At an event on Monday hosted by nine major industrial and business groups, Hou said that if elected, he would reinitiate cross-strait dialogue on the premise that Taiwan’s dignity would not be compromised and that the talks would be held in good faith. The talks would include lifting a ban on Chinese tour groups and