On September 18, 2014, China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) asked all Internet video companies to remove video applications from their offerings so that they will no longer be available for mobile phone users to download them.
This is not the first time that the State regulatory body ordered the shelving of video applications. Industry analysts in China observed that SAPPRFT has been attempting to stop many online video companies from walking a fine line and continuing to offer the applications. This action is an attempt to have blockage occur at the source in order to prevent Internet contents from being seen on the TV screen altogether.
IQIYI, one of China’s leading online video portals, stated that on September 1, it notified its third party online application stores to remove video applications from their offerings. On the same day, LETV, another leading online video company, also took action to follow the SAPPRFT order. On September 18, Youku’s XL application for Android users was no longer available for download. The application cannot be found at Baidu and Tencent stores either. According to one of Youku’s third party application stores, Wandoujian, the application had been downloaded 720,000 times.
Reports indicate that the authorities are preparing tighter implementation guidelines to target the Internet TV industry, potentially with a focus on the hardware.
Source: Caixin.com, September 18, 2014