Electronics

China investigates top local social media sites in push to control content

China investigates top local social media sites in push to control content

China's cyber regulator has launched an investigation into countries largest social media platforms -Tencent's WeChat, Baidu's Tieba, and Sina's Weibo - for failing to manage prohibited content.

Cyber surveillance is being tightened further ahead of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China expected to be held later this year, when global attention will be on news coming from the world's second-biggest economy.

The notice suggests the investigations were prompted by "reports made by web users" (language not uncommon in the enforcement of online controls), and that the three platforms "host content including violence, fabrication and rumor, obscenity and pornography, and other information shared by users that harms national security, public safety and social order".

While WeChat and Weibo, which collectively boast over 1 billion users, did not comment on the probe, Baidu has issued a statement saying the company is willing to comply with cybersecurity laws and will "actively cooperate with government departments to rectify the issue and increase the intensity of auditing". But while Apple is trying to maintain good relations with China by complying with such requests, analysts and tech commentators believe that its troubles with the country 'have just started'.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Tencent, in which Napers owns 33%, fell nearly 5%. Investors will now be waiting to see how shares of the US -listed firms react.

Redskins LB Trent Murphy out for season with ACL injury
The injury occurred in the first quarter when Murphy was involved in a third-down stop against the Ravens offense. He will serve the suspension, despite the injury, forfeiting $185,315 of his $787,591 base salary this year.

Last month, Beijing scrubbed memorial photographs of democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) from WeChat and Weibo, following the long-imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize-winning writer's death in the middle of the month.

In recent months, regulators have taken severe and unprecedented action to shutter content and media across a variety of platforms.

Western social media websites like and Twitter are banned by the country's censors, which in turn has helped drive up the popularity of home-grown messaging app WeChat and microblogging service Weibo.

In May, new regulations were released for online sites that have news that expanded the curbs on content, while requiring services to be overseen by an editorial staff that was party sanctioned.


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