Chinese video bloggers will now need licenses to broadcast

Beijing, Dec 14 (IANS) Video bloggers in China must register their real identities before publishing anything online from January 1, the Ministry of Culture announced Wednesday.

All presenters — including amateurs, many of whom have gained enormous fame on the internet — would be compelled to comply with the new regulations in the new year, Xinhua reported.

The Chinese administration has asked online video bloggers to seek operating licenses from the authorities, as well as identify themselves via interviews or video calls starting 2017, said the report.

Foreign video bloggers would require special permission, as well as those coming from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

The new regulation was arrived at after months of censorship on this type of new audiovisual media.

The operators of video hosting services “must carry out real-time supervision of performances and keep records of all the shows”, it said.

They would also have to create mechanisms for handling “emergencies” such as suspending content that violates the regulations and report any infringement to authorities.

The Chinese Ministry of Culture also announced the creation of a “blacklist” of video bloggers who failed to comply with these regulations in order to “ensure the sector’s healthy and orderly growth”.

In recent months, the authorities have suspended video blog accounts and even arrested some of the presenters, claiming that they were broadcasting rude, erotic or violent content.

In April, China removed the online videos of blogger Papi Jiang, who had become famous for her monologues as she joked about daily life in China using sarcastic language.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had called for culture and media to be subordinated to the values of the communist regime, which has resulted in high levels of censorship not seen in decades.

–IANS

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