Chinese Tech Crackdown

July 22nd, 2017

If you’re a technology firm operating in China, you’re probably used to the State’s demands on censorship related matters.  However things are about to move up a notch with companies being told to actively upgrade their own censorship efforts.  It’s not like the internet hasn’t got enough restrictions already with most Chinese already using VPNs to stream things like the BBC News in order to get better news coverage.

China has ordered the nation’s largest technology companies to instantly “rectify” offenses and closed accounts that release “bad data”, in the most recent move by governments to tighten policing of the net. The Cyberspace Administration of China said it held a meeting this week with representatives from national tech giants Baidu, Sohu, Tencent, Netease and Phoenix to notify them of numerous offenses in articles published in their own platforms.

The offences recorded Wednesday from the government comprised misinterpreting policy directives, disseminating false information, distorting Chinese Communist Party background, plagiarising photographs, and hard public purchase.

The businesses need to “immediately … execute particular cleanup and rectification” to be able to adhere to regulations, the CAC stated in an announcement.

China tightly controls the net by means of a censorship system called the “Great Firewall” and closely tracks social networking networks for sensitive content.  Regulations in force since 2000 say sites are responsible for “ensuring that the legality of any data” submitted in their own platforms.   The CAC provided several examples of issues in articles printed by individual networking accounts on national social networking platforms.

This comprised a article on Baidu’s Baijia platform which stated the government’s policies on property were to blame for a rise in housing costs, and also the CAC known as an “reckless attack”.  The CAC also slammed Tencent for permitting the release of a post titled, “a Chinese warplane crashed to a US aircraft carrier, killing three US soldiers” , which was be a plot out of a tv series.  New regulations which came into force on June 1 demand online platforms to find a permit to post information reports or comment regarding the government, economy, army, foreign affairs, and social difficulties.

In other recent movements, police have shut dozens of star gossip sites and issued new guidelines about online video content to get rid of programmes deemed offensive.  Since the departure of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo past week, censors were working in overdrive to wash any tributes to the democracy activist.  Both key words and graphics related to Liu happen to be blocked across all significant social networking platforms in China, according to analysts.

The reach of censorship associated with Liu expanded significantly after his departure, a report from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto discovered.

“His departure (is) the very first time we see picture filtering one-to-one chat, along with image filtering class chats,” the report stated.

Nevertheless Chinese activists that have use of virtual private network (VPN) applications, allowing people to bypass the Great Firewall, have submitted tributes to Liu on Twitter and Facebook lately, such as photographs of memorials alongside bodies of water, even because his ashes were scattered at sea.