News / Arts & Entertainment

Chinese Video Makers Fear Tighter Controls Over Internet

FILE - A man works on his computer inside a coffee shop in downtown Shanghai, Sept. 25, 2013.
FILE - A man works on his computer inside a coffee shop in downtown Shanghai, Sept. 25, 2013.
Some Chinese artists who produce videos for the Internet are complaining about new rules that they say will tighten the government's control over political expression.

The producers specialize in short video films - "micro films," as they are known in China - that appear on Chinese versions of YouTube.

Beijing's State Committee on Films and Broadcast Media announced new rules this week that require producers to register their real names and submit their content for review before uploading videos for public consumption.

Officials say the new regulations are intended to prevent violent or pornographic material from being uploaded to the web. However, independent artist Gao Zhen told VOA's Mandarin service he thinks the government's real target is political content.

"I think this is a standard argument justifying the official suppression of all free media," Gao said," said Zhen.

"Some popular films made by independent folks have been suppressed and banned," the producer added, "and even small-scale screenings may be barred. So tightening the regulations covering network dramas and 'micro films' is associated with the control of ideology as a whole. Of course, the authorities do it in the name of banning erotica and violence."
 
Popular online video sites in China, such as Youku Tudou, have not yet commented on the new regulations.

Online dramas and "micro films" - usually videos that are no longer than five minutes - are becoming a growing force in Chinese online entertainment. Many of the short videos take a fast-paced look at social issues, including official corruption.  

Most micro producers are amateurs or students, but professional studios are beginning to experiment with the genre.

Web writer Zan Aizong told VOA that Internet dramas and micro videos are inexpensive and comparatively simple to make.

"Network serials and 'micro films' are low-cost and easy to make. Even a single person can produce one," Zan said. "When a work only several minutes long is uploaded to the Internet, people everywhere can view it and pass it on. Even some official websites show these films, because they need lots of content to attract viewers."

China has been campaigning to suppress Internet "rumors," which many critics see as an attempt to silence dissent.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”