China’s new OTT rules

China’s State Administration of Press, Publishing, Radio, Film and Television (“SARFT”) has instructed several operators of OTT (‘Over the Top’) platforms to suspend their ‘Time Shifted over Cable’ services (TSoC) as well as their Catch-up TV services. SARFT is developing policies and regulations in respect of OTT services which were previously unregulated, in an attempt to bring those services under similar rules as those which apply to other platforms and thus to avoid unfair competition. The current action will not harm the business of online video on demand websites.

Last June, SARFT had already instructed the holders of WebTV licenses to take immediate action to stop the downloading of video content which has been published on the internet illegally by using a WebTV terminal device (the “Internet Box”).

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