Chinese entertainment app Watermelon Video (西瓜视频) has barred new mobile video uploads, live streams, and live comments, saying it is cleaning up the platform to meet legal standards, local media is reporting.

The move comes amid a crackdown on online content lead by China’s media regulator, the State Administration of Radio and Television (SARFT). It puts increased pressure on technology companies to police content on their platforms.

Watermelon Video said that it had scrutinized the content on its platform and had found 500,000 videos it deems inappropriate, resulting in the ban of 38,000 user accounts. It noted that in the future measures would be put in place to improve auditing standards through manual checks and the use of artificial intelligence.

The SARFT-led effort has already resulted in the suspension of video playback in Tencent’s messaging apps, the permanent closure of Toutiao’s Neihan Duanzi (内涵段子 “implied jokes”) app, the suspension of numerous news services from Chinese app stores, an apology from Toutiao’s CEO, and the temporary disabling of live streaming and comments in Toutiao’s Douyin (抖音).

Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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