China closes down more video sharing websites

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The Independent Online

Chinese regulators have closed down hundreds of video sharing websites in a new push to control Internet content, reports said Monday.

Several well-known websites were either closed down or ordered to delete all links to downloaded films or TV series in the past week, the China Business News said.

Most content offered by peer-to-peer websites violates copyright and is not "above board", the business daily said.

BTChina, a popular video sharing website, said in a notice on its website that the State Administration of Video Film and Television ordered it to shut down because it has no licence to provide audio and video content., a similar website, said in a notice it would delete all links for downloading TV series and films by mid-February "to firmly support and comply with the state's laws and regulations".

As of November 30, authorities had shut down 414 video and audio websites this year for operating without a licence or for containing pornography, copyright-violating content or other "harmful" information, the report said.

Popular sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have also been blocked in China as authorities try to tighten the flow of information, especially following unrest in Xinjiang this year and Tibet last year.