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CHINESE authorities published a regulation on the fast-growing live streaming video industry yesterday, ordering providers and releasers to obtain qualifications and act according to the rules.
For online live streaming of news, service providers are obliged to censor content before releasing it, the Cyberspace Administration of China regulation says.
Service providers should be well-staffed and have the technical ability to stop live streams immediately, according to the regulation, which will take effect on December 1.
The rules require streaming services to log user data and content for 60 days, and work with regulators to provide information on users who stream content threatening to national security or social order.
Both users and providers are punishable under the regulations.
Online live streaming has grown rapidly in China, but some platforms have been found to disseminate pornography, violence, rumors and fraud, counter to socialist core values and adversely affecting young people, a cyberspace administration official said yesterday.
Some platforms stream live news without proper qualifications, thus disturbing the orderly dissemination of information, the official added.
Service providers should classify online live streams based on their content and number of users, and manage them accordingly, the regulation states.
It bans the use of live streams to undermine national security, destabilize society, disturb social order, infringe upon others’ rights and interests, or disseminate obscene content.
Using online live streaming services to make, replicate, release and disseminate information banned by law and regulations is not allowed, it adds.
It also stipulates that service providers should blacklist users who break the rules, and prohibit them from registering again.
“Online live streaming services are low-cost with low entry thresholds, so some online anchors perform dramatically, sometimes with pornographic implications, to compete with others,” said Zhu Wei, professor of media law at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law.
Many service providers left such behavior unchecked because they fear anchors will quit and move to competitors, Zhu said.
With a blacklisting system, they can be banned from all services, Zhu added.
China now has more than 300 companies that provide online live streaming platforms, the administration official said.
Its 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 existing services.
Credit Suisse Group analysts estimate the industry could top US$5 billion by the end of 2017, driven by cheap bandwidth and a growing population of young mobile users, according to Reuters.
As of May, the government had issued 588 licenses for prominent media outlets and live streaming sites, effectively banning all unapproved services.(news from the shanghai daily)