The copyright regulator on Thursday announced stricter rules on music streaming, updating a copyright system that has been out of sync with the way people listen to music for years.
Online streaming services must stop providing unlicensed music to users, said the National Copyright Administration (NCA) in a statement published on its website. Service providers were given until the end of July to remove unlicensed music.
As part of "Sword Net 2015", the anti-piracy campaign aims to improve online copyright management, better protect royalty holders and restore confidence in the copyright system, said the NCA.
The administration added that the move was in line with China's copyright law and regulations. Those who do not follow the order will be seriously punished, it said.
How the regulation will affect the streaming industry is yet to be seen, as Internet users are used to free music through smart phone apps such as Alibaba-backed Xiami Music and Tencent-backed QQ Music.