War of words between LeTV and Xiaomi triggers warnings

July 09, 2015 10:51
Xiaomi founder Lei Jun (left) and Tin Mok of LeTV have traded criticisms and allegations of malpractices. Photos: HKEJ, Bloomberg

A public spat between the managements of Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp. (LeTV), and Xiaomi Inc. probably triggered recent warnings from Chinese authorities, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.

The report cited Alex Ng, vice president of telecom and hardware technology research at China Merchants Securities (HK) Co., Ltd., as saying the two firm's criticisms of each other and revelations of each other's malpractices might have got on to the authorities' nerves.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television ordered the top seven online licensed television operators to complete a self-inspection and stop four types of wrongdoing by Wednesday, or their licences would be withdrawn.

The order essentially reiterates regulations that forbid online television broadcasters from serving as a platform for viewers to watch content that does not originate from the official TV stations.

It is expected that the demand for such online TV services will decrease amid stricter scrutiny.

The regulator's tightened grip is not aimed at LeTV, Tin Mok, the firm's executive vice president for Asia Pacific, was quoted as saying.

LeTV, Xiaomi and TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings Ltd. (01070.HK) have insisted they are running their businesses legally.

Translation by Vey Wong

[Chinese version中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal