Curbing the stream

By Han Bingbin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-09-25 07:02:24

Curbing the stream

Video streaming of entertainment programs on electronic devices is very popular among Chinese viewers.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Regulators are restricting video websites' content from TV set-top boxes. Han Bingbin reports.

Curbing the stream

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The country's top media regulator has taken its firmest steps yet to restrict streamed content from reaching TV set-top boxes.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television last week required streaming sites, such as Sohu and iQiyi, to remove apps that viewers can download to the boxes to access content and watch them on TV screens.

Video streaming websites have dominated the market for shows and films viewed on computers and mobile devices.

They offer over 450 million viewers a variety of programs, ranging from local entertainment shows to foreign TV series.

The regulator has since 2011 required set-top boxes to be allowed to only access licensed content through designated content providers, such as China Network Television, Shanghai-based BesTV and Hangzhou-based Wasu Media & Network Co.

Currently, 14 enterprises are registered to provide content, but only seven have the authority to run the boxes.

The administration is expected to inspect the apps this week.

Streaming websites that are found to have not removed their apps will reportedly have their operating licenses revoked.

They'll no longer be allowed to license overseas programs or produce their own, which they previously could.

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