Websites, apps penalized for misconduct

BEIJING: During the first quarter of this year, Chinese cyberspace regulators at various levels shut down more than 4,200 websites and banned nearly 70 apps suspected of engaging in criminal activities such as providing illegal news services and spreading pornography. According to a news release published on Sunday by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the nation’s top cyberspace watchdog, leaders of more than 2,000 websites were summoned and instructed to rectify their actions, and 48 websites were banned from offering or upgrading services. In addition, 55 mobile apps were removed from app stores and 12 were shut down, the news release said, adding that some 4,200 websites were shuttered and had their licenses revoked. The cyberspace regulator named some of the violators in the news release. For example, some internet platforms — including search engine, which published or transmitted prohibited information — were fined, and their leaders were summoned by local cyberspace regulators and asked to immediately rectify their actions. Some of the functions on these platforms were also restricted. Others such as search engine Baidu, Twitter-like platform Sina Weibo and livestreaming giant Douyu were punished for failing to manage information posted by their users, resulting in the online spread of “harmful information” such as pornography, superstition, prostitution, gambling and high-interest lending, the news release said, adding that these platforms were also fined and urged to make immediate rectifications.

–The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item