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Online video crackdown targets illegal content

Cao Yin
Updated: Nov 7,2014 9:09 AM     China Daily

A crackdown on online videos containing illegal information was launched by China’s Internet watchdog on Nov 6 to further clean up cyberspace.

The crackdown, which will last until the end of the year, will focus mainly on illegal videos on smartphone app stores, cloud services, online forums, micro blogs and instant messaging tool WeChat, the Cyberspace Administration of China said.

“We are paying great attention to videos with content that includes terrorism, rumors and pornography,” said Liang Lihua, deputy director of the administration’s Internet Information Department.

The crackdown is being launched in cooperation with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, Liang said.

“We guide website operators in checking the content of uploaded videos, while our partner is responsible for supervising the content and punishing wrongdoers,” she said.

“If we find website companies, app inventors and online forum operators are uploading or spreading illegal videos, we will not ask them to delete or remove the content, as we did previously,” Liang said.

“Instead, we’ll deal with these videos ourselves so that the websites will be better supervised.”

Wei Dangjun, deputy director of the Network Video Department at the publication administration, said there have been increased reports of uploaded videos with obscene content on smartphone apps.

“We will mainly check such illegal videos on the mobile network and software in the crackdown,” Wei said.

The crackdown will also target some large websites with video platforms and some online forums, Wei said.

On April 24, Internet giant Sina Internet Information Service had two of its Internet business licenses revoked after pornographic content was found.

A month later, the business license held by Shenzhen QVOD Technology Co in Guangdong province was revoked after pornographic content was spread.

An Internet business license enables a company to provide telecommunication and information services via the Net.

“In previous campaigns, we mainly focused on pictures, words and audio on mainstream websites, but this time we’ll also crack down on websites that are not qualified to broadcast videos,” Wei said.

Xi Wei, deputy director of the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center, said there have been increased reports of illegal videos on cloud services and instant messaging tools recently.

In October, the center received 30,199 reports, including 18,096 of pornographic content and 515 about rumors, according to its latest statistics.

The center has ordered some Internet giants, including Sina, Baidu and Tencent, to delete 3,698 pieces of illegal information and close 418 instant messaging tool accounts suspected of spreading pornographic content.