If video is going to be streamed in China, the state wants to know about it. China requires a streaming company to obtain a state license and then avoid airing clips that might inspire fear, contain pornography, or endanger national security. That’s a huge burden for sites that feature user-generated content, especially when “endangering national security” includes showing video clips of Chinese unrest. This week, China mounted a crackdown on 62 separate web sites that in violated a new law against showing online audio and video without permits.
When the government first instituted the law back in January, Internet video sites had already become hugely popular in China, and it was widely suspected that the rules would not be strictly enforced. At first, these suspicions appeared justified, as nothing happened for two months, even to the many sites that never bothered to obtain the state license to broadcast. (link)