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SARFT Investigating Qiyi, Baidu for Sharing Video License

Sina Tech, 1/18/11

A source within the Department of Media Organization and Online Programming Supervision of China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has confirmed that SARFT is investigating Chinese internet company Baidu's (Nasdaq: BIDU) joint-venture online video site Qiyi, but has yet to order the site to cease operations. Qiyi currently does not display an Online Audio-Visual Broadcasting License number on its homepage, and is operating using Baidu's license.

The source was responding to a recent rumor propagated on Chinese internet company Sina's (Nasdaq: SINA) Weibo microblogging platform alleging that because Qiyi lacks its own license, it may be merged into Baidu as a video channel and has been ordered to halt operations.

According to a source in the online video industry, the license requires the license holder to provide information on the organization's name, address, legal representative, broadcast operations name, and URL, and as a result Qiyi and Baidu's sharing of a single license could be in violation of regulations.

Keywords: Department of Media Organization and Online Programming Supervision Internet online video Baidu Online Audio-Visual Broadcasting License SARFT legal BIDU Qiyi regulation

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