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China Tells Companies to Verify Identities for Web Movie Uploads

China’s Internet companies must verify the real identities of Web users seeking to upload some categories of videos, a move aimed at barring sexually explicit and violent content, a government agency said.

Internet companies shouldn’t post videos including movies or short films by users who don’t identify their names, China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said in a Jan. 20 statement on its website.

The new video uploading requirements will be implemented “to prevent vulgar content, base art form, exaggerated violence and sexual content in online videos having a negative impact on society,” the agency said. The latest rules could help further tighten laws requiring people to identify themselves when signing up for Internet and phone services, according to Isaac Mao, director of the Social Brain Foundation.

“It’s part of the effort to tighten control over user generated content,” said Mao. “For micro-video sharing platforms it’s definitely a curb.”

China has tightened controls on users of Twitter-like microblogs as the Communist Party presses a campaign to rein in a forum that’s challenged the nation’s censorship regime. Social-media sites have become platforms to expose corruption and wrongdoing in a country where domestic newspapers, television and radio stations are under state control.

Jiang Xin, a spokeswoman for Inc. in Beijing, declined to comment on the company’s current policy for uploading films and the impact the regulation may have on it. Jean Shao, a spokeswoman for Youku Tudou Inc., declined to comment.

China’s top court issued an interpretation in September saying Web users could face jail time if defamatory rumors they put online are read by more than 5,000 people or reposted more than 500 times.

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