Government regulation in China has made the road to converged services like IPTV and mobile TV being offered a long and hard one, according to research firm, Ovum. In a new report “Telecoms and Media Convergence in China: a Regulatory Perspective”, the precise reason for this is due to significant regulatory barriers, especially that of diverse regulation and the long-standing conflict between the two regulators governing the sectors (telecoms and media) as a result of the lack of a Telecommunications Act. Another regulatory barrier is the lack of a new regulatory framework designed by the State Council. The two key regulators in the country – the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) – have hindered the uptake of these converged services. Insufficient liberalization and privatization also proved to be a roadblock to achieving fair competition between broadcasters and telecoms in the convergence market. As it currently stands, all key players in the telecoms and media markets are state-owned companies. Charice Wang, an Analyst based in London, said that “a new regulator integrating the current MIIT and SARFT should be launched in the near future, possibly in 2013 when next China’s government restructuring happens”, just like converged regulators in other Asian countries such as the National Communications Commission in Taiwan and the Korea Communications Commission.
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