Last week Xiaomi lost lawsuit against LeTV over online video rights. It seems it has something to do with the fact that the two are direct competitors in smart TV and set-top boxes, but the dispute over video content aroused much discussion in China.

LeTV accused Xiaomi of offering videos in Xiaomi Box, a set-top box, the former has exclusive rights. But Xiaomi, the maker of consumer electronics products including smart TV and set-top box, doesn’t provide video content directly but through third-party apps or content provider. The aforementioned videos were from the video platform ICNTV, an authorized online video source.

Chinese set-top boxes and smart TVs, actually, are not allowed to provide video content they have or they’d like to provide with. SARFT, the state ministry for television, radio, film and publication, only allows seven organizations to provide over-the-top video content and another seven to provide videos for connected TV or set-top boxes. All of the 14 organizations, such as ICNTV, are state-backed and overseen by SARFT.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com