China Starts Shutting Down Video Hosting Sites

from the so-much-for-leniency dept

Back in January, China put in place rules that effectively banned any video hosting/sharing website that wasn’t owned or controlled by the Chinese government. However, after the law went into practice, China didn’t do anything — and many assumed that the government had been convinced that shutting down such sites would harm the entrepreneurial environment it’s been trying to foster in China. Then, of course, things went nuts in Tibet. China banned YouTube, and suddenly remembered the laws it had put in place. It’s now announced that 25 video hosting sites need to be shut down and another 32 will be “punished.” No description of the “punishment” is provided. In the meantime, this should be a reminder to those investors rushing to invest in Chinese startups: the government can change the landscape drastically with little warning.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “China Starts Shutting Down Video Hosting Sites”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

stupid americans

just cause ur gov allows and wackjob to run around and do whatever the hell he wants…well its ur peoples choice

china on the other hand….well
..”mac” ur probably shiting ur self as we speak cause u know everything about them is better
and one day in the future they shall take over

those people are most efficient and productive population in the world….its just a matter of time

so enjoy it while u can

capitalism, will always remain a dream, in relativity its a failure!!

Anonymous Coward says:

get ur facts staight

allthough i luv techdirt…you guys didnt tell the story AS IS.

“China will shut down or punish dozens of video-sharing Web sites for carrying content deemed pornographic, violent or a threat to national security under rules that tighten Internet controls, a regulator said Friday”

whats wrong with that…..they are taking action to improve the country….not hurt business. the only business they “might” hurt is the porno business….
im sure this does not mean the demise of all future investments

DanC says:

Re: get ur facts staight

shut down or punish dozens of video-sharing Web sites for carrying content deemed pornographic, violent or a threat to national security

China uses an extremely liberal interpretation of what constitutes “a threat to national security.” For instance, criticizing the government and calling for reform is characterized as an “incitement to subvert state power.”

they are taking action to improve the country

Improving the country by censoring anything the government deems threatening, not just pornography. Please explain how keeping their citizens ignorant of world events, such as the situation in Tibet, is “improving” the country.

the only business they “might” hurt is the porno business….

The article isn’t about just censoring pornographic videos. And you’re missing the point. A video hosting site, such as YouTube, is a business. China has effectively killed any homegrown video hosting startups that aren’t owned by the government. If a company or individual had invested money into one of those businesses, they basically just lost their investment. Basically, the article is saying that the Chinese government can realistically do the same thing to any number of industries, therefore, future investments need to be considered carefully.

Kyros says:

Um, Woah

Attacking any industry, even a web business, like online videos, is going to harm business, even if only in an extremely limited fashion.As far as “not trusting communists”, I really suggest you look at FDR before you make stereotypical or uninformed statements. Democracy has it’s share of problems, and just because China has issues with censorship, isn’t a flaw on communism. If anything, this should be seen as a fault of an attempt to censor the Internet, which is about as silly as outlawing war.

john cassinari says:


With everything that’s going on in China, from human rights violations to poisoning our kids with lead tainted imports, why the hell are we or any other democratic country planning on attending the Olympics this summer?
While I agree we shouldn’t be punishing the athletes, which in an indirect way this would do, it does seem necessary. This is a corrupt government that will stop at nothing to keep its people in line. If we don’t stand up and say something is seriously wrong here, who will????

Danny says:

why the hell are we or any other democratic country planning on attending the Olympics this summer?
While I agree we shouldn’t be punishing the athletes, which in an indirect way this would do, it does seem necessary

That’s why I say try to appeal to the athletes themselves. If you appeal to a country to not send their competitors then yes I think they would feel cheated but if the atheletes themselves decided not to participate I think it would be a much stronger show of force.

Cheney says:

What You've Seem To Have Forgotten.......

In early 2001, shortly after GW Bush became President, China shot down and captured several US air crewmen and held them prisoner for several days.

The west is tightly dependent on China for consumer goods, but never forget it still has a third world government and approach to the rest of the world.

Until the Chinese overthrow the Communist leaders, the country will always be a threat. We do business with them and they happily take our money, but what many don’t realize is that the ongoing business expansion is resulting in many existing homes and businesses to be bulldozed and the citizens’ rights – what few they have – to be trampled.

Yes, your new flat screen TV will come from China, and some people will be paid well for producing it, but there is still a rotten stink in the government and they must be closely monitored.

And, for you idiots who have posted messages claiming that China is somehow superior to the US – show some real conviction and let’s see you move there. You will change your tune in a real hurry, especially if you’re in a Chinese jail.

José Luis (profile) says:

A grain of salt....

I agree that what China is doing is absurd, but there is a possible different reading to it. The fact that the population in China is so big and they have nuclear capacity, combined with what happened on USSR after opening (social unbalances, mob and wheapon blach market, etc), might indicate that the gov is trying to make a controlled shift to capitalism. Well, i don’t think that it is at all possible (or realistic) to do that, but maybe…

**ALSO**, you (US citizens) may do the little an exercise of reading many of your own comments from an non-US-citizen perspective.

Let’s see: “a free country”, “nuke them”, etc
Yes, of course. You live in a country where your current president didn’t make it’s first term with an election that he didn’t win (Florida, i think?). Of course, you do not live in a country where the e-voting machines are completely fucked up and the government does all it can to fix it. No, no radiation tests on (unaware) civilians. Health care is superb. No humans rights violations (torture? where? but if it is for the greater good!), etc, etc.

*EVERY* country has good and bad things and all they must be pointed out (i live in Argentina, so i know…).

You then go wondering how is it possible that “americans” are not liked in the rest of the world (you ARE liked, your attitudes are NOT). I’ve been in USA and i know you are very kind people and you have a beautiful country, so i hope you understand the real (honest) meaning of the next sentence as an observation and not an insult:

some of this (blind) thinking is akin to fanatism, as it is not well funded and one sided and stubborn. You also send your youngs to die being heroes (claiming that you have god and the law in your side).

Hopefully you are now thinking if some of this might be real and not being offended! Realy!


China Law Blog (user link) says:

Your Warning Is Spot On

You are absolutely right to warn about how China’s penchant for instant rule changing (it has no prohibition on ex post facto enforcement either) can influence investments. And not just in the tech field either. I had a client who spent millions on a property for a particular business, which business became prohibited to foreigners six months later. Wish I could say there is a solution to this sort of thing, but short of a crystal ball, there usually isn’t.

Charming Charlie says:

Youtube back up in China

Good news, youtube is back up in China! Unfortunately it’s just the front page, and it appears (my awful internet connection might be misleading me) that all the videos and the search function result in a Page Not Found, which had been the case for the rest of during the past two weeks.

I speculate this is a lame attempt by the government to fool reporters and interested Westerners to thinking it’s unblocked now. None of the content is accessable, though I indeed can see which videos are featured today.

vinstonas (user link) says:


well, here we are in 2013, and Chinese websites like youku, tudou, 56, pps, pptv, and sohu are thriving as a result of the youtube, and vimeo ban. not only that, but banning facebook actually helps the Chinese social networks such as qq, and renren. most of you have no clue what democracy is, because it is when a govt acts in the interests of its own people. this is something that japan, canada, and europe has all failed to do, because all they know if facebook, and youtube, while their country cannot produce anything like it, and their govt does not provide an environment where local websites can thrive. instead, they just hand over concesions to the u.s regime.

if i were a Chinese person, i’d be glad foreign sites were being blocked, because not only has it created jobs for Chinese video sites, it also creates an indpendence that few countries have. how many countries out there can really say that they dont use youtube? just another example of how the spin doctors are trying to turn something great, into something bad. as far as boycotting the olympics goes, how many of you boycotted the london olympics because british troops are slaughtering thousands of Afgans, and Libyans?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...