BEIJING — Chinese online-video site Youku.com said it has received a long-awaited license from China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, in a sign that China’s government may not take as tough a line on privately owned online-video companies as some had feared.
Youku’s license, announced Wednesday, makes it the first of China’s most popular YouTube-like video-sharing sites — including Tudou.com and 56.com
— to be approved by the administration, known as Sarft, following new regulations for the industry that it announced late last year. Those rules said government wanted online-video sites to be owned or controlled by government companies.
The regulator later said existing private companies also could be approved, but it has been unclear exactly how that policy would be carried out. As a result, Youku and scores of other Web sites that provide online-video services were scrambling for months to clean up their sites and win Sarft approval.
“I think for Sarft, they were reviewing video-sharing Web sites like ourselves, and this proves that they’re comfortable that we can abide to content and procedures they feel comfortable with,” Youku Chief Executive Victor Koo said in an interview. Read the full article by Loretta Chao here.