A notice of punishment was seen pasted outside the Shenzhen headquarters of internet video streaming operator Qvod on Monday, suggesting that the local market supervision authority plans to fine the company about 260 million yuan (US$41.67 million) for piracy and copyright infringements.
It may be the most expensive ticket that a Chinese online video provider has received due to piracy issues, according to reports Tuesday.
Qvod, which claims to have weekly active users of more than 200 million and takes as much as 30 percent market share, integrates functions of search and play, allowing users to search for resources from various video websites and directly play the results through the player.
However, it sometimes redirects users to websites that provide infringing contents, even porn videos, AM730 newspaper reported.
Complaints and investigations on Qvod, which is one of the biggest applications for streaming and downloading videos in China, have been frequent. Both the National Copyright Administration and the provincial supreme people’s court in Guangdong listed Qvod’s copyright infringement cases as one of the most important cases in 2013, Beijing News reported Wednesday.
Although Qvod can still seek a hearing on the proposed punishment, and the exact amount of fine is not finalized yet, the latest development suggests that Chinese authorities have lost patience and that they no longer feel that the websites will proactively rectify their shady activities.
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