Chinese regulators shut down video sites

SARFT calls content 'harmful to social stability'

SHANGHAI -- Chinese broadcast regulators shut down eight online video sites this week in an open announcement about the sites having carried pornography, violence or content "harmful to social stability."

In an unusually transparent move, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television on Monday ordered the shutdown of the eight small- to mid-tier Web sites and reprimanded 20 others.

The country's top video sites, such as or, were not affected. Both had experienced troubles with SARFT in the past.

The publication of the list of banned and punished sites is a rare move for SARFT. Usually, the regulator takes action first then announces it has done so afterwards. It generally does not name the companies or individuals involved.

SARFT said there has been improvement in the acceptability of online content in China since its first round of investigations -- conducted from January to March and summarized for legislators at the annual National People's Congress in March.

A second round of investigations began in April.