Science & technology
China tightens controls on Internet messaging apps
Publish Date: Aug 07, 2014
China tightens controls on Internet messaging apps
  • mail
  • img
newvision

BEIJING - China is banning users of Internet messaging services from posting political reports without permission, and demanding they promise to "uphold the socialist system", state media said.


China tightly controls the Internet, but its online population of 632 million has used messaging applications to push the boundaries of the ruling Communist party's restrictions on free speech.


Internet companies are required to ensure that users of online messaging services register with their real names, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) cited the government's National Internet Information Office (NIIO) as saying.
Users will be required to agree to "seven bottom lines", including a vow to "uphold the socialist system", a euphemism for China's one-party dominated regime, when they register, CCTV said.


Hundreds of millions of Chinese use the Twitter-like Sina Weibo, and messaging app WeChat, among other online services.
The latest regulations appeared to be aimed at WeChat, an instant messaging platform that allows users to share text, photos, videos and voice messages over mobile devices.


Some foreign messaging apps, including KakaoTalk and Line -- both of which are owned by South Korean firms -- have also been blocked in China for several weeks, according to multiple reports.
 

South Korean authorities said Thursday that Chinese officials told them the move had been taken as an anti-terrorism measure. There was no confirmation from Beijing or in Chinese media.
 

The NIIO said individuals or companies running public accounts on services such as WeChat cannot post "political news" without official approval.
 

The creation of new public accounts -- which enable transmission to multiple recipients -- is also subject to official approval, it said.
 

The new regulations come as China continues a crackdown on online "rumours", which rights groups say is an excuse to punish those who publish information critical of the ruling party.
 

Hundreds of people have been detained during the campaign, while several bloggers have been handed lengthy jail sentences, resulting in a decline in use of microblogs.
 

Dong Rubin, a blogger known for criticising Communist Party officials, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail as part of the campaign last month, state media said.
 

China in May targeted public WeChat accounts which are used to post news stories, accusing them of "spreading rumours". Several liberal-leaning accounts were forced to close.
 

Related Stories

China Internet population reaches 632 million

Microsoft to comply with China amid probe

UCC to control internet, social media content

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
$100 mn Ebola pledge from Microsoft co-founder Allen
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen said he was boosting his donations to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to $100 million....
Toyota shares rise on record profit report
Shares in Japanese auto giant Toyota advanced in Tokyo trade on Friday following a report it is set to book a record operating profit in the six-month period to September....
Lufthansa close to deal with IBM for IT infrastructure unit
German airline Lufthansa is close to a deal to sell its IT infrastructure unit to IBM, including an outsourcing agreement for the services, as part of a shake-up of its technology activities, it said on Wednesday....
Google launches new email service dubbed
Google has launched an email service called "Inbox" on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way....
Microsoft ditching the Nokia brand
MICROSOFT is ditching the Nokia brand name from new devices, less than a year after acquiring the Finnish mobile firm...
Apple CEO meets Chinese official amid iCloud hacking row
Apple CEO Tim Cook met a senior Chinese official Wednesday, days after hackers targeted the company's iCloud service in an attack which an anti-censorship group claims originated in China....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter