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China’s Internet Firms Ordered to Curb Online Rumours

Internet companies should block rumours spread via their platforms, a commentary in the state-run People’s Daily said on Thursday

China's Ministry of Commerce applied the tariffs. Photo: Reuters

Chinese internet platforms must crack down on the spread of online rumours and guard their “fields of responsibility,” the state-owned People’s Daily wrote in a commentary published on Thursday.

The comments come amid an ongoing regulatory tightening on technology companies.

The article argued that curbing online rumours was especially important in the current period of preventing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

As the coronavirus persists, “Internet rumours are even more harmful, and must be attacked strictly in accordance with the law, in order to ensure healthy operation of the internet.

“To build a good network, multiple parties such as law enforcement agencies, functional authorities, and internet platform companies need to act and work together.”

The comments come as Chinese authorities steadily release new regulations and penalties addressing the tech sector.

On Tuesday, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation released a sweeping set of draft rules banning practices such as fake reviews, aimed at improving fair competition online.

Later, on Wednesday, China’s commerce ministry published guidelines urging video live-streamers to speak Mandarin rather than local dialects, and dress in a way that is inoffensive to their audience.

• Reuters and Jim Pollard



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This story was updated with a new headline.

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.


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