You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Probes Social Media Giants Over Illegal User Content

Chinese regulators have unveiled an investigation into the country’s top three social media sites. Tencent’s WeChat, Sina Weibo and Baidu’s Tieba are accused of not doing enough to halt the publication and spread of illegal content.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said on Friday that it had received complaints from users. And that by failing to halt the illegal content, the platforms may in turn have broken the law. “Users are spreading violence, terror, false rumors, pornography and other hazards to national security, public safety, social order,” the CAC said in a posting on its website.

Baidu has quickly apologized and said it would cooperate with authorities. Tencent said it would assist the investigation. Sina Weibo said: “Weibo is very sorry for the negative experiences of internet users caused by harmful information.”

The past year has seen the Chinese government take an increasingly tough position on cyber sovereignty within its own borders and increase the role of the Communist Party in shaping what can and cannot be said online. It has effectively banned non-state news organizations and is currently waging a renewed campaign against virtual private networks, which are used by tens of millions of Chinese to access parts of the overseas Internet that are blocked by China’s technological defenses, sometimes known as the Great Firewall.

Last month the same three firms were ordered to conduct “cleaning and rectification.” Content deemed out of bounds included rumors about party officials and distortions of Chinese military history.

The government has made it increasingly clear that online operators must self censor and police the comments and postings made by users. That is a gigantic task. WeChat has some 940 million users globally. Sina Weibo has 350 million. Tieba’s bulletin board has 19 million sub-forums.

The CAC said that the investigation was being led by its Beijing and Guangdong branches. It will unveil further details in the coming days.

More Digital

  • Livenation AR Live stream

    Live Nation to Debut AR Live Stream at Music Midtown Festival

    Come September, Live Nation is set to begin streaming live events in augmented reality. The entertainment giant will debut live AR broadcasting at the Music Midtown festival in Atlanta, Georgia, where attendees will also be able to unlock filters and other AR effects. Live Nation announced the new initiative at the Cannes Lions festival Thursday, [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

  • Apple - iPhone-XR-launch-Covent-Garden-London

    Apple Warns New Tariffs Would Impact iPhones, iPads, Macs

    Apple has told U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer in a filing that all of its major products would be impacted if the U.S. enacted a fourth round of tariffs in its escalating trade war with China. CNBC was first to report about the filing Thursday. “The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple’s major products, [...]

  • Amazon Music

    Amazon Music Launches on Comcast's Xfinity X1 Set-Tops

    Amazon Music is rolling out on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 — the first pay-TV distribution deal for the ecommerce company’s music service. The cable operator’s addition of Amazon Music comes six months after it added Amazon Prime Video to the X1 lineup. Prime Video quickly became one of the most-used apps on the service, which prompted [...]

  • The Frontier

    Conecta Fiction: Project Pitches Prizes Passed Out in Pamplona

    On Wednesday evening the Spanish city of Pamplona was overrun, not by bulls, but by hopeful TV creators who had spent the early week pitching their projects at Conecta Fiction, and who anxiously waited to find out the titles which would take home silverware. Meanwhile, “Monzón,” a Disney-Pampa-Incaa production portraying the tragic violence of Argentine [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content