• China Live News Broadcast

China Live News Broadcast (Photo : Getty Images)

In line with a new cyberspace law, China’s Internet regulator issued an order to curb live news broadcasts of five leading Web portals in the country.

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The order was issued on Monday by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)–Beijing Branch in an effort to control online content providers prior to the full implementation of a new cyberspace law. It will cover live content from “newscasts” with “news anchors” and “live streaming hosts.”

Authorities accused websites operated by Sina Corp., Tencent Holdings Ltd., NetEase Inc., iFeng and Phoenix Television of breaching the most recent version of China’s 2005 News Information Service Regulations, forcing the portals to refurbish content.

The portals had failed to abide by the rule that took effect last week prohibiting the spreading of original news content on any website without affiliation with a news publication, such as newspaper or magazine, approved by the state.

The portals’ newscasts also violated the live streaming oversight rules. The rules, released by the CAC in November, state that all scripts made for live streaming news that can be accessed through apps and websites must be checked by an authorized news editor prior to broadcast.

Cyberspace authorities recently issued the extensive regulations, which will be fully implemented on June 1, to cover all online news content providers, including websites, apps, instant messaging apps, blogs, social media accounts and forums.

Starting June 1, all online content providers to Chinese-mainland Internet users will need to have a cyberspace administration permit to be allowed to post news or news commentaries.

As specified by the law, online content providers must be officially registered on the mainland and the position of chief editors must be filled by a citizen of the People’s Republic of China.

The move on Tuesday is the second time in two months that the country’s Internet regulators have curbed news and commentary shows connected to major news portals.

A number of news-themed programs, including military and international affairs shows broadcast by iFeng, Tencent, Sina and Sohu Inc. were commanded to be removed from the Internet. According to authorities, the programs did not have required news publishing certificates.

The recent rules increased the CAC’s control over the online news industry. In August, the regulator ordered the hiring of round-the-clock monitor teams who will watch live video content and put out offensive material immediately.

The CAC’s supervision over online news content increases as the new cyberspace law curbs live news.