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China scales back online video regualtion

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  1. Newsgathering
China eased up on new rules governing online video-sharing services, announcing Wednesday that it would allow existing private operators –…

China eased up on new rules governing online video-sharing services, announcing Wednesday that it would allow existing private operators – along with state-owned entities – to operate Web sites that post audio-visual material.

Rules regulating video-sharing in China were announced at the beginning of January and went into effect last week. Originally, the announcement stated that “solely state-owned enterprises or enterprises whose shares are controlled by the state” would be allowed to post audio-visual material. The Chinese Ministry of Information said the laws were implemented to eliminate all inappropriate content and protect state secrets.

However, after harsh criticism from China’s own media and with only months before the summer Olympics, the government seemed to soften its initial regulations.

The Chinese Government made a statement this week claiming that while state-owned companies would be the “dominant” force in leading the development of audio-visual content on the Chinese web, they won’t rule out access to private firms that are in good standing with the authorities.