Media regulation

Tudou: online video problems

Rumors of its death greatly exaggerated?

Last night Chinese language portal Netease published an article saying that SARFT had made use of the new online video regulations and ordered popular Chinese video sharing website Tudou to cease operations. The story has been picked up by several bloggers and made its way into English on Fons Tuinstra's blog and on Pacific Epoch, an investment information service.

According to yet another blog post on TechBlog86, the news was also published on

The article on Netease seems to have been deleted, but Sohu still has the story (in Chinese). is still working, as you can see from the Danwei TV video above. One Danwei source says that the shutdown story is a vicious rumor started by a competitor website.

Update: Beijing Business Today (via Hexun) reports that Tudou is denying the entire thing: "Tudou has received no such document," said one source with the company. And in regard to the CCTV deal, another source said, "It's not convenient to discuss this now; we will make a public announcement in a while."

Update 2: The Chinese language report is still online at, whilst consulting firm Marbridge yesterday reported the following in its daily newsletter:

Sources say that the direct cause of the breakdown between Tudou and is the Shutdown Order Regarding Punishment of Tudou for Illegal Online Video Broadcasting issued by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) to Shanghai broadcasting authorities on February 24.

The order states that Tudou is suspected of transmitting pornographic and other clearly proscribed content, and of continuing to be lax in its monitoring of content following the promulgation of SARFT's new regulations on online broadcasting. Tudou was ordered to shut down for an unlimited duration to reorganize its content. On February 26, word of the order, which had circulated throughout all levels of the broadcasting authorities, reached CCTV. An inside source revealed that Wang Wenbin, head of, saw the letter on that day - one day before the, MySpace China, and Tudou press conference. The next day Tudou CEO Wang Wei's speech was dropped from the press conference, and media at the press conference were told not to report this.

When contacted, Tudou's public relations department said that they had not received a Shutdown Order targeted at the company.

Editor's note: In a telephone interview with Marbridge, relevant authorities confirmed that such an injunction had been issued against Tudou. However, no confirmation was given concerning the details outlined in the article above. A check of Tudou's site ( as of the close of business today found it still functioning normally.

Your correspondent is inclined to think this is just a shake down for penalty fees, and a shot across the bows of all the video sites to warn them that big brother SARFT is watching.

The accusations of pornographic content are absurd: Tudou is one of the least salacious video hosts out there. Lots of the smaller ones seem to be trying to compete by pushing the boundaries of what's permitted, but Tudou and the other big ones don't have the same sexy, sexy movies. Copyright infringement's a different story, but there again, Tudou is no worse than any of the others.

There are currently 10 Comments for Tudou: online video problems.

Comments on Tudou: online video problems

Retweet: TechCrunch going Chinese? Please mind the gap between techblog86 and TechCrunch. ;-) Thanks...

lol. what is TechCrunch86 ?

Thanks, corrected to Techblog86.



Tr. [Lots of people are supporting Tudou in the Sohu BBS - those government bastards must be kind of frustrated. However, the domestic media hasn't been paying much attention. --]

Will it be up and running again soon?

seems to be down now -

So.. are they gonna fix the glitch?

no, i loved that site

tudou will come back soon

well, I remember seeing Tudou saying that the website was moving its servers.
*sign*, people work so hard to make sure everything is censored here.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives