Taiwan turfs out video streamers run by China’s web giants

On regulatory grounds, but it’s hard not to chalk this up as more anti-China action


Taiwan has moved to turf out Chinese video-streamers operated by Tencent and Baidu.

A Tuesday notice from Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs makes it an offence for local businesses to facilitate Tencent’s WeTV and Baidu’s iQIYI in the nation. Neither operates in Taiwan, but both have found local proxies that bring their services into the island nation.

Now those businesses won’t be permitted to continue offering their services.

The ban comes into effect on September 3rd.

WeTV and iQIYI are often compared to Netflix, because they offer a blend of commissioned and acquired content delivered exclusively online. Each has over 100 million subscribers.

Taiwan’s language is Mandarin, making it one of the few markets outside China that offers the chance of expansion, so the decision will have economic repercussions.

Taiwan has framed the ban as bringing regulation of video-streamers into line with other laws governing the operation of Chinese businesses. But the ban also comes against a background of China being increasingly insistent that Taiwan – which it characterises as a rogue province – should again become part of a single Chinese nation.

The USA and India have also recently banned Chinese online services and apps on grounds of national security. But there’s also soft power and nationalism dimensions to those bans and Taiwan’s actions have been interpreted as having similar motives. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022