According to the South China Morning Post, online video sites in China have enabled filmmakers to post their work online and often shorter versions as compared to those in traditional cinemas. Over the past few years, microfilms have been a hit as it pushes the limits of what can be shown.

The South China Morning Post reports that the update of the two-year-old regulation of online dramas and microfilms has raised fears of constraints in creativity. The broadcast authorities will now require content makers to register with their real names, while production companies have to obtain a licence and report their content before posting online, and video-hosting companies will have to keep track of the content that they have uploaded.

According to the report, it mentions that the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said that the rationale is to increase supervision of the internet, cultivate a “healthy and civilised” online environment, and deter programmes that feature excessive sexual and violent content that may be harmful for society.

From previous regulations, violators face fines of 20,000 to 50,000 yuan and costs for possible damages. The violators may also be punished for a criminal offence should they be found guilty of a crime.

The tighter regulations are seen as a general crackdown on online expression according to the report. Authorities have since arrested scores of people who were involved in spreading rumours. They have introduced penalties for people who posted libellous information, and told celebrity bloggers to guard their national interest.