Business / Industries

Animated programs may incur govt wrath

By XIE YU (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-02 09:14

Animation channels run by online video providers like Tencent Holdings Ltd, Youku Tudou Inc, Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp and Baidu Inc are likely to be pulled up by the authorities for hosting cartoons with objectionable content, industry experts said on Wednesday.

Some content on the channels glamorizes acts of violence, pornography and terrorism, which in turn leads to juvenile delinquency, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement on Tuesday.

Though the firms will be asked to remove the objectionable content immediately, it will have little impact on the overall business, due to its low share, analysts said.

The ministry statement had specifically cited leading websites like Tencent, Youku Tudou, iQiyi, LeTV and Kumi for hosting objectionable content.

"We found that there were at least 12 animation programs with objectionable content that had more than 1 million page views on Tudou. Eight animated videos on Kumi-whose target audience is mainly children-were found to hype violence, terrorism and pornography," said the ministry.

The ministry said punishment will be meted out according to the law, without giving details.

LeTV applied for temporary suspension of trading on Wednesday on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The company said in a statement that the decision does not pertain to any specific website as such, but seeks to address the problem from an industry perspective.

LeTV said it will actively carry out self-checks and rectification, and adopt stricter standards in the future regarding imported animation content.

Other companies were not available for comment.

"Video streaming websites have been importing several Japanese animation series to attract younger viewers," said Zhao Rui, an analyst with Guotai Junan Securities Co Ltd.

"The problem is that China does not have a rating system for animation content. We generally assume cartoons are for kids. But some Japanese imported animation programs are aimed at adults," he said.

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