China penalizes 62 websites for illegally airing audio, video

2008-03-20 06:52:55 Xinhua English

BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities have announced that 62 websites will face penalties either for broadcasting on-line audio and video programs with banned content or for providing the service without state permission.

The State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) said in a circular on Thursday that these sites were found to have violated relevant regulations as a result of a two-month inspection, which concluded on Feb. 20.

They were punished for broadcasting obscene, fear-inspiring or violent content or programs that might endanger national security and interests, or for offering such services without the required qualifications or certificates, the circular said.

As a result of the inspection, the administrations banned 25 websites including the popular, from providing audio and video services as they had offered the services without authorization and had "frequently" broadcast illegal programs.

Another 32 sites, including the well-known, were warned over minor violations such as airing illegal programs less frequently.

The cases of five others, which had no qualifications to provide audio and video services on-line but still did so, were transferred to telecommunications authorities, SARFT said.

Under new regulations that take effect on Jan. 31, 2008, website operators must get a license before airing audio and video content.

In July 2004, SARFT promulgated regulations to certify audio and video programs on the Internet and other networks.