China's online content regulations now in force

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 02 April 2015

Unlicensed foreign movies and TV series are to be taken down from China's online video platforms, following the introduction of new regulations at the beginning of April.

The regulations, drafted by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), were announced in September 2014. They require that all foreign video content be officially permitted before it is streamed online.

Chinese online service providers must now obtain an online audio and visual programme distribution licence to provide general video streaming services, and then obtain publication licences for foreign films and TV series on an individual basis, according to news agency Xinhua.

It is thought that TV series must now be approved in their entirety, rather than episode by episode, which could mean that hit US shows can no longer be broadcast by Chinese over-the-top (OTT) operators on the same day they air in the US.