China to launch new campaign to regulate social media news sites

A man walks past a large video screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. (AP pic)

HONG KONG: China’s top internet watchdog will launch a new campaign to crack down on the social media accounts of independent news providers, it said Thursday.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will target commercial websites and social media accounts that illegally write and edit news items, and repost news articles from non-compliant sources, the CAC said in a statement on its website.

It would also deal with clickbait stories, misinformation, and other sensationlised online content, it added.

The CAC said it would also regulate online forums and live-streamed lectures, and push media sites to propagate more positive energy.

China’s strict online censorship rules have tightened in recent years with new legislation to restrict media outlets, surveillance measures for media sites and rolling campaigns to remove content deemed unacceptable.

In June, CAC penalised several of the country’s leading live streaming and video platforms for spreading “low taste” content, reprimanding women wearing low-cut clothes and men for indecent dancing and using foul language.