China orders crackdown on online TV broadcasts
Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

Beijing, 28 December: China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has issued a circular Wednesday [27 December] ordering a crackdown on companies illegally broadcasting TV programmes on the Internet. The SARFT circular prohibits cooperation between SARFT-affiliated institutions and “online TV stations” that have been broadcasting TV programmes including news programmes without legal permission, using names such as China international economic TV (, and China network TV (, according to the circular.

Some of the illegal “online TV stations” even forge government permissions to recruit reporters, set up branch stations, and profit from advertising revenue. According to China’s Regulations on the Management of TV and Radio Stations, TV and radio stations can only be established by government departments and government-affiliated radio and TV groups.

China’s Management Measures for Transmitting A/V Programme over Internet and Other Information Networks, which took effect in October 2004, also sti****te that online broadcasters of audio and video programmes must obtain permission from SARFT before broadcasting. Online programme broadcasters are not authorized to make their own programmes.

Broadcasters in violation of the regulation could be fined up to 30,000 yuan (3,750 US dollars) and even prosecuted.

(Source: Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0400 gmt 28 Dec 06 via BBC Monitoring)