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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 2:13am

    Coming soon: China bans the internet!

    Come on, you know it's only a matter of time.

     

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  2.  
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    John S. Kim, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 3:07am

    what's happening in China is of grave sorrow

    I don't believe china's current policies can withhold against the ever-increasing distributing powers of the internet. They are trying hard to delay, perhaps to dismiss this mega-shift from taking place, but it simply is inevitable.

    I wonder what the 'leaders' of china are actually thinkiing.

     

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  3.  
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    Glass'em, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 4:55am

    And they have most favored nation trading status? I say Nuke'em, wipe the seat of government off the map. They have 1.3 billion people, they can afford the collateral damage.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 5:16am

    I find it highly ironic that they ban videos on the internet when everyone else is banning things from their country for raunchy spam!

     

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  5.  
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    mac, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 5:20am

    Stupid Chinese

    Communist, can't trust em, don't like em...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 5:51am

    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!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 5:55am

    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

     

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  8.  
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    Kyros, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 6:05am

    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.

     

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  9.  
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    DanC, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 6:19am

    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.

     

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  10.  
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    john cassinari, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 6:33am

    China

    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????

     

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  11.  
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    Danny, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 6:43am


    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.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Cheney, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 6:55am

    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.

     

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  13.  
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    known coward, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 7:08am

    this is china

    it is not a free country. Why do folks expect it to act like one?

     

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  14.  
    icon
    mdmadph (profile), Mar 21st, 2008 @ 7:16am

    Re: China

    Why the hell are we or any other democratic country planning on attending the Olympics this summer?

    Because they hold billions of our worth in bonds, not to mention the fact they sell us all our cheap stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    A. L. Flanagan, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 7:50am

    Re: stupid americans

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

    Can't help pointing out -- while you may be correct, some of us are living in "reality", and it's working OK there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Dennis, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 8:00am

    One step closer...

    Could this be the beginning of a OneState or Big Brother?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Mike Kinney, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 8:24am

    Nuke'em?

    Yeah, and I'm sure your community can afford the collateral damage of having your entire family wiped out all but you. That way you can see and feel exactly what your moronic statement is actually saying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    JS Beckerist (profile), Mar 21st, 2008 @ 8:26am

    Not quite

    I don't think China will ban the internet, but the internet in China will be more of a gigantic corporate intranet than a true internet. It's the only way they will be able to control at the levels they seem to believe is required.

     

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  19.  
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    José Luis, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 10:06am

    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!

    Peace

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Tashi, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 10:30am

    Re:

    It could really happen. They banned it in Burma. And they said Communism was dead.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    CVPunk, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 11:51am

    hmmm...

    how many of you actually know what the hell "Communism" is??
    just wondering because I see it quite a bit on these posts.
    Is it what you learned in your US History class in high school, or have you actually done some of your own reading and picked up the Communist Manifesto??
    just curious, go wave your flags now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    ZeTron, Mar 21st, 2008 @ 3:20pm

    WW 3

    The next world war will be aginst China. Looking at the path we as a country are on now there is NO doubt in my mind. God I hope 2009 will take the world in a new direction...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    China Law Blog, Mar 22nd, 2008 @ 6:46am

    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.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Charming Charlie, Mar 22nd, 2008 @ 10:51pm

    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 www.youtube.com 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.

     

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  25.  
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    Charming Charlie, Mar 22nd, 2008 @ 11:33pm

    Youtube back up in China

    I did a little more research, and it appears that youtube videos and the search function is accessable for most queries, but not for any involving "Tibet." And, after having your connection interupted by Chinese filters, all of youtube is blocked temporarily, maybe for 20 minutes or so?

     

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  26.  
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    the_kat, Mar 23rd, 2008 @ 4:17pm

    China sucks

    China has been sensoring information for years.. it's too bad really. poor people.

     

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  27.  
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    isaac, Jan 24th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    shutting down internet sights

    Its only time befre you tube is blocked, the already shut down accounts posting UFO videos and anti new world order videos
    http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=foXN27viSOM


    think its a joke? Watch this video while its still there

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    vinstonas, Jul 19th, 2013 @ 5:35am

    none

    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?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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