China to Require Video File-Sharing Sites to Get Permits?

Sites that allow visitors to stream, upload, or share video content must have a permit and be either state-owned or state-controlled.

China continues to exert an almost Darth Vader-like grip on that country’s internet with a report that it has announced that only state-controlled video sharing sites will be allowed to exist.

Under the new policy, sites that provide video content or allow users to upload or share videos must have a permit and be either state-owned or state-controlled.

The new regulations, which take effect Jan. 31, were approved by both the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the Ministry of Information Industry and were described on their Web sites Thursday.

The majority of Internet video providers in China are private, according to an explanation of the regulations posted on, which is run by the state-run China Film Group.

Video that involves national secrets, hurts the reputation of China, disrupts social stability or promotes pornography will be banned. Providers must delete and report such content.

“Those who provide Internet video services should insist on serving the people, serve socialism … and abide by the moral code of socialism,” the rules say.

The permits are subject to renewal every 3 years and operators who commit “major” violations may be banned from providing online video content for 5 years.

This means that not only sites like YouTube, or the popular China-based will be affected, but most likely file-sharing sites that allow users to exchange videos widely popular in China like “Prison Break” and “24.”

Jared Moya

I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates.


How would Youtube be affected? Its not based in China and not subject to its regulation. I guess China could block it if it doesn't comply but they couldn't shut it down. Plus there is no way this is going to affect actual file-sharing services since most are decentralized. The Chinese people are already accustomed to using proxies to get around government regulation. This is only going to: 1) make a hassle for new web video start ups and 2) bloat the government bureaucracy. Ironically its not even going to be effective in controlling content. Waste of time waste of money but I guess its better then them plowing the funds into their military.