Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 8:58 AM
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 Sohu.com.
The article on Netease seems to have been deleted, but Sohu still has the story (in Chinese).
Tudou.com 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."
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.
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