China to crack down on illegal online broadcasters

Updated: 2006-12-28 13:45

China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has issued a circular Wednesday ordering a crackdown on companies illegally broadcasting TV programs on the Internet.

The SARFT circular prohibits cooperation between SARFT-affiliated institutions and "online TV stations" that have been broadcasting TV programs including news programs 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 Program over Internet and Other Information Networks, which took effect in October 2004, also stipulate that online broadcasters of audio and video programs must obtain permission from SARFT before broadcasting.

Online program broadcasters are not authorized to make their own programs.

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

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)