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The Chinese government is likely to impose quotas on foreign television programs shown on video websites reports China Daily.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has long been rumored to be considering applying its quota system for imported movies to TV shows, and now it looks like these plans will become policy according to Chinese media reports cited by China Daily.
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If the policy does become reality then video websites like Youku Tudou, Tencent and Sohu will be allowed a limited number of licenses for overseas television shows per year, which could severely impact traffic numbers for Chinese video sites that have come to rely on legal and illegal videos of popular American shows.
Recently, Chinese video website companies have sought to secure exclusive license deals with U.S. TV shows. Sohu snapped up House of Cards, The Big Bang Theory, Saturday Night Live and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. China Daily reported that 20 percent of Sohu’s website traffic was down to U.S. TV shows.
Youku Tudou has signed exclusive deals with a number of Korean television shows that will air on Tudou.com.
The Chinese government is cracking down on imported content on the country’s most popular websites, with officials concerned with the morality of some U.S. shows in particular. In April, SARFT ordered shows such as The Good Wife, NCIS and The Practice to be taken down from Chinese video sites. In July, SARFT threatened to revoke the licenses of seven Internet-TV companies if the content streamed on their networks breached the country’s strict censorship laws.
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