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
Japan launches new spy satellite
Japan on Sunday successfully launched a back-up spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather....
Panasonic closes TV plant in China, to sell Mexican factory: report
Panasonic has closed its last remaining TV manufacturing factory in China and is to sell its plant in Mexico as part of a restructuring plan aimed at stemming losses, a newspaper said Saturday....
Jihadists
After having used the Internet profusely for propaganda and recruitment, jihadist organisations are now backtracking....
Facebook adds
Facebook on Thursday launched a new feature that automatically provides tips about places where members of the social network might be, potentially challenging review websites like Yelp....
Google takes hit on slower-than-expected growth
Google profit jumped in the recently ended quarter, but the leap fell short of market expectations as smartphone-centric lifestyles brought with them a shift to cheaper mobile ads....
Apple ties with Samsung as world
Apple caught up with Samsung as the world's biggest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter of 2014, thanks to booming sales of its new iPhone 6, market researcher Strategy Analytics said...
Will a ban on Waragi sold in sachets reduce consumption of Alcohol?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter