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China Fines Social Media Firm Douban For Illegal Data Release

The Cyberspace Administration of China said on Thursday it had fined social media company Douban over an unlawful release of information, as Beijing steps up efforts to “clean up” the internet


The sign of Chinese social networking forum Douban is seen via a magnifying glass by a phone displaying the Douban app in this image from April 2021, by Reuters.

 

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Thursday it had summoned and fined social media company Douban over the unlawful release of information, as Beijing steps up efforts to control and “clean up” its internet space.

The internet watchdog said in a statement that Beijing authorities fined Douban’s operating entity 1.5 million yuan ($235,000) and regulators demanded “immediate rectifications” from the company.

Douban, an online platform where tens of millions of Chinese users review films and discuss various social topics, said its reply function had been suspended on Thursday and would be resumed on December 17.

The CAC did not give further details on the reason for the fine.

But it added that it would “seriously handle” relevant representatives of Douban and said the company had been fined a total of 9 million yuan in November.

Certain functions of apps in China have been suspended over “unlawful” or “lowbrow” content, and apps have been temporarily removed from apps stores for similar reasons in the past.

 

Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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