Jeremy Goldkorn at Danwei reports that China's State Administration for Radio Film and Television (SARFT) has included Chinese YouTube clone Tudou on list of 35 "slightly unhealthy" a websites that will be punished and fined. He points out: "None of Tudou's real competitors like Youku.com or 56.com are on the list: the rest of the websites mentioned are small and unknown players." SARFT has also published a list of 25 "extremely unhealthy" websites ordered to be shut down. He observes: "all the websites in the list seem to be fly by night video downloading BBS and small, relatively unknown video sites. Many of them have names that imitate other, more popular websites, e.g. Xunleicn.com whose name is ripped off from the popular Xunlei.com."
Jeremy concludes: "Despite being named on a list of insignificant and mostly lousy websites, this seems like good news for Tudou, as long as the fine is not too severe." Certainly beats being shut down, which was recently rumored to be Tudou's impending fate.
Pacific Epoch also reports on the lists, noting that Tudou's content filtering has increased dramatically:
Users of Tudou.com have noticed an uploading slowdown since Tudou shutdown its site for a full day on March 14, reports 21st Century Business Herald. According to users quoted in the report, the entire process from video uploading to publishing now takes about 24 hours. After the temporary closure, Tudou recommenced user-generated content uploading on March 17. Filters at Tudou.com competitor Youku.com can publish videos within half an hour after uploading, according to Youku CEO Victor Koo.
Interesting. So I guess they're taking extra precautions to vet everything before it gets published. So the question is: does Youku have better censorship technology, more staff to handle content control, better official guanxi, or some combination of the three?
Previous posts on the subject:
- Tudou's 24-hour shutdown
- Tudou shutdown reports: What's going on?
- China's new online video regulation: reading the tea leaves