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Flag of ChinaPacific Epoch reports that China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and Ministry of Information Industry (MII) are set to jointly release regulations for online video and audio programs in 2008. The regulations reportedly will allow only state-owned firms and state-controlled companies to broadcast video and audio programs online, and all programs are subject to MII approval. Virtual worlds and social networking sites will all presumably now be subject to further government censorship (ahem, regulation).

Silver lining…the new regulations only apply to professionally published programs, not user-generated content. Therefore, YouTube-style sharing may still flourish. Also, this could be promising news for the booming Chinese blog market. The China Internet Network Information Center (“CNNIC”) just published a “Survey Report on Blogs in China 2007.” According to the report, as of November 2007, the number of blogs in China has reached 72.82 million , with 47 million blog writers, one fourth of the total netizens.

Chinese blogs cover almost all areas of people’s daily life, including cultural, military, and economic topics. In light of the regulation of state-controlled companies, blogs seem poised to become the primary source for the Chinese people to share and obtain information.

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