China-based streaming platforms could be booted out of Taiwan: NCC

The World of the Married is a show on the iQiyi streaming platform (Screengrab from iQiyi Taiwan website)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Amid the pandemic, many have sought refuge in the arms of OTT streaming devices to binge-watch TV series.

Platforms sponsored by China, however, such as iQiyi and Tencent WeTV, may see their operations terminated due to ongoing legal disputes, according to the National Communications Commission (NCC)

The NCC on Friday argued that China-based streaming platforms have never been legalized in Taiwan. If local laws or regulations are changed, it won’t apply to their eventual license, the NCC said.

The NCC’s reply came in response to a statement from chairman proxy Chen Yaw-Shyang two days earlier during an inquiry from legislators regarding the legitimacy of the streaming platforms.

Chen, was had received support from five NCC members, stated that the China-based OTT platforms are not legal in Taiwan, meaning that they should be removed on the grounds that the Taiwan government would not be able to tax their business or provide local content on them. 

In addition, some expressed concern over their content, arguing that they may include unification ideologies regarding Taiwan. 

Although iQiyi has no branches in Taiwan and relies on OTT Entertainment to handle some of its business here, OTT Entertainment is a legit business that pays taxes, a Taiwan agent for iQiyi, OTT Entertainment (歐銻銻娛樂) told NOWnews.

In addition, OTT Entertainment pointed out that iQiyi sponsored many Taiwanese shows in the past, and hopes that the government will reach a satisfactory resolution for the situation.

To users who have already paid their membership fees, OTT Entertainment said that the business is as usual and guarantees the members’ rights.

WeTV also said that though they are not established in Taiwan, they had paid their taxes and operated within the laws, and saw no reason why they should be booted out of Taiwan.