The mainland's media watchdog is tightening its grip over dramas and "micro-movies" - short films often made by amateurs - that are posted on popular video-hosting websites.
The creators of such content must register with their real names, or in the case of a company, obtain licences, the State General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television said.
Authorities said the rule was to prevent excessively sexual or violent content, but some filmmakers said the government was worried online video would delve into sensitive topics.
The watchdog said in the statement posted on its website on Monday that production companies must first obtain a production and business operation licence before the works can be put online.
Video websites, such as the market leaders Youku Tudou and iQiyi, must keep records of all content uploaded and take videos down if they breached standards.
Qiao Qiao, who has directed more than 10 micro movies, said the new rule would limit the industry's growth because "many people in this field don't feel a need to be known by our real names".
"The internet is the only place where some Chinese filmmakers can let their creativity take flight," he said. "Why can't they let us do what we're doing?"