The decision was made in consultation with Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and its Mainland Affairs Council.
Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, but China regards the territory as a rebel province with which it will eventually be reunited, by force if necessary. The two are loggerheads on many issues, particularly in the cultural sphere.
China currently does not permit Taiwanese video providers to operate on the mainland. That was a factor in the decision against iQIYI, Taiwan’s Minister of Culture Cheng Li-yun was reported as telling local media.
iQIYI made its license application in August. But in fact, it has been operating in Taiwan since March via a local company OTT Entertainment. Confusingly, iQIYI applied for an information service company permit, rather than a broadcasting license, Taiwanese media report.
“We regret the Taiwan authority’s decision to turn down our application to establish a subsidiary in Taiwan. We will continue to communicate with the authorities on this matter,” an iQIYI spokesman in Taiwan told Variety. Meanwhile, iQIYI guarantees that all the benefits that its Taiwan subscribers have been enjoying will remain unchanged. The company has no intention to withdraw from the Taiwan market. In future iQIYI’s Taiwan operation will purchase more premium content to serve the Taiwan audience.”