China shuts down 290 websites over copyright
China shuts down 290 websites over copyright Getty Images

China has shut down as many as 290 websites violating copyright. In addition, fines have also been imposed over illegal download of content including movies and games.

Recently, the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) announced the authorities dealt with 514 cases of online copyright infringement between July and November this year. According to the government, a total of 290 websites, associated with internet piracy, were shut down, reports TorrentFreak.

On 12 July, the State Copyright Administration and four other departments launched Jian Wang 2016 to clamp down on intellectual property infringement. The programme targeted "unauthorised illegal spread" of film and television works, news and other digital literature to protect the rights of copyright holders. It was also aimed at regulating online music and cloud storage services.

"The State Copyright Administration has also supervised four batches of a total of 31 cases of copyright infringement, granting subsidies to local cases of more than 1.5 million yuan ($216,000)," said the Administration.

"At home and abroad, Jian Wang 2016 has had a very good effect. The initial results of copyright management on the Internet has greatly improved the environment for copyright and laid good foundations for further action," it added.

In October, China's leading internet security company, Qihoo 360, said it would cease offering accounts to private citizens as the service being used to spread pirated content and other "illegal information" which inflicted "huge harm on society".

The government said in a statement that Qihoo 360 will wipe all user data by February 2017 to reflect how much importance the "360 group of companies' attach to the protection of copyright works."

In the latest "Out-of-Cycle review of Notorious markets," the US Trade Representative (USTR) mentioned China's link with a number of sites that offer pirated content, including BeeVideo, according to TorrentFreak.

"BeeVideo is an application that facilitates the viewing of allegedly infringing movies and television shows on smart TVs through set-top boxes, and on mobile devices," the USTR said.

"The app is available through the website portal. BeeVideo has been downloaded more than 12 million times and once downloaded allegedly provides unlimited unauthorized access to infringing content. The developer and operator of BeeVideo is allegedly based in China," it said.