China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) is clamping down on online news broadcasts and other audiovisual programmes, more tightly regulating which operators are allowed to produce and/or broadcast news.

The news channel for Chinese video site Tudou has been removed and replaced by a "Focus" channel. Competitors Youku and Ku6 both continue to feature a news channel, after apparently satisfying SARFT's regulations.

Marbridge Consulting notes that the clampdown seems aimed at wiping out video news content that doesn’t come from state-backed national or regional stations, and locking down who gets to produce or disseminate news in general. With China and its Communist Party set for its 90th anniversary celebration on 1 July, the timing is not coincidental.

In May, China ordered TV bosses across the country to clear their schedules to make way for ‘Red’ programmes to mark the anniversary, and banned detective shows, spy thrillers and dramas about time-travel for three months

Louise Duffy | 29-06-2011