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China streaming media entry depends on national security: NCC

2019/03/15 18:48:19

Taipei, March 15 (CNA) Whether the National Communications Commission (NCC) decides to allows the presence of China-based online streaming media in Taiwan will depend on national security considerations, NCC Chairperson Chan Ting-i (詹婷怡) said Friday.

Chan said the NCC, which supervises the country's telecommunications industry, will take into account the opinion of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which is in charge of cross-Taiwan Strait affairs, and national security agencies before deciding whether to approve the entry of Chinese streaming media.

The NCC called an inter-ministerial meeting Friday with representatives from other government agencies, including the Ministry of Culture (MOC) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), to discuss the possible entry of Chinese streaming media such as Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Youku Tudou Inc.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of local telecom and media companies such as Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan Mobile Co., Formosa TV, Sanlih E-TV and cable TV system operator Kbro, according to Chan.

The NCC meeting was convened after Tencent and Youku were reported to be preparing to provide streaming services in Taiwan in May, which sparked an outcry from several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers, including Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) and Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津), who voiced concern over national security.

Local media reported that Tencent and Youku will follow a model used by another Chinese online streaming media iQiyi, which set up a Taiwanese Website through a Taiwanese agent registered as OTT (Over-the-Top) Entertainment, even though its application to create a Taiwanese subsidiary was rejected by the Investment Commission under the MOEA.

Chan said Friday's meeting was not about approving the entry of Tencent and iQiyi, but aimed to listen to the opinions of government agencies and the local online streaming industry on the issue.

On Thursday, MAC spokesperson Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) cited intelligence the council has already received as saying the entry of Tencent and Youku is part of the anti-Taiwan strategy of China's National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA).

Chiu said the NRTA has targeted overseas markets by directing Chinese online streaming operators to export China-made content and Taiwan has become the first target of the Chinese government.

Based on the guidelines of the National Security Council and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, the MAC will work with the NCC, the MOEA and MOC to be a responsible gatekeeper to prevent Taiwan from being harmed by China's tactics, Chiu said.

In response, Taiwan Over-the-Top Media Services Association head Chien Ta-wei (錢大衛) said Thursday that the government should establish a mechanism for effective supervision of overseas OTT operators that want to enter the Taiwan market since such operators are sitting on large funds and without careful supervision, competition in the local streaming industry could be harmed.

Chien said the government should ask foreign incorporated streaming media to set up a subsidiary or branch in Taiwan before providing local services so the government can monitor them carefully.

(By Liu Li-jung, Jiang Ming-yan and Miao Zong-han and Frances Huang)
Enditem/AW