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China to Ban Live Webcasts; Three Minutes Minimum Delay Required

The Chinese authorities issued a directive in August last year requiring real name registration for live webcasts. Recently, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced a series of regulations including a ban on live web broadcasts and other restrictions upon online video programs. The Notice said, “live Internet broadcasts should take the form of delayed broadcasts, with a minimum delay of three minutes. Performance organizers and online broadcast companies should formulate live broadcast management procedures and emergency contingency plans, and arrange special personnel to conduct real time review of the contents and of Internet users’ comments. Any problem should be dealt with in a timely manner and the video materials should to be kept for at least 60 days for inspection.”

Chinese authorities’ surveillance of online video programs has become increasingly harsh. It is believed that the new media has mostly exposed the major and small incidents that the authorities have attempted to cover up.

The consultation period for the aforementioned Notice will end on December 22. In August last year, six national level agencies in China, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the State Administration of Radio and Television, issued a “Notice on Strengthening the Management of Webcasting Services.” The notice requires the implementation of the real-name registration system, stringent management of online program anchors, the establishment of a blacklist for anchors, and improvement of the monitoring, review, and disposal of illegal and harmful contents. The notice also requires the online live broadcasters to cooperate with the authorities and provide the necessary documents, materials, and data.

Source: Radio Free Asia, December 11, 2019