(Yicai Global) Dec. 19 – China's media regulator has imposed new restrictions over audio-visual content posted on social media platforms. State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People's Republic of China (SARFT) issued new regulations requiring advance permits for social media organizations that allow their users to post online video and audio programs.
As more and more organizations and individuals begin to publish increasing number of video and audio content via social networking platforms, Chinese regulators have strengthened supervision on such content. Films and TV dramas broadcast through such social media channels will now require to have a permission in advance.
The content of the web dramas, web movies, news programs, documentaries, variety shows and other programs disseminated via Weibo, WeChat and other internet social networking platforms shall comply with the relevant provisions of Internet audio-visual program management, the SARFT ruled in a new regulation issued on Dec. 16. Weibo, WeChat and other Internet social networking platforms will no longer be allowed to automatically publish self-made political audio-visual news programs uploaded by citizens.
WeChat and Weibo are the social networking platforms owned by China's Internet giants Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Sina Co. respectively. WeChat currently has about 806 million monthly active users, while the same number reaches 390 million monthly active users for Weibo. As videos attract and engage more users, many social media platforms have introduced video upload function.
The new regulation also requires organizations, which have internet video programming services on social networking platforms such as Weibo and WeChat and hold the 'Permit for the Dissemination of Audio-Visual Programs on the Information Network,'to carry out such services pursuant to the permit. However, for those organizations and individuals who publish audio-visual content without holding such permit, the hosting social networking platform shall be responsible for supervising the content of the posted programs and other management responsibilities in accordance with the audio-visual program management requirements, and the scope of the programs shall not exceed the scope stated on the platform's business license.