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Cyberspace Administration Cracks Down on Tech Companies and Financial Self-Media Accounts

On August 27, China’s Cyberspace Administration issued two orders in a row targeting tech companies and online financial self-media accounts.

The first order was a draft version of a regulation that bans the tech companies from using an algorithm to block content, push recommendations or manipulate the ranking order of a top search list. The experts suggested that these restrictive measures will have a major impact on the growth and profitability of these tech companies.

The second order aimed at effectively curbing the online dissemination of financial information by clamping down on online self-media accounts to keep them from illegally publishing financial related information. The self-media mainly refers to those independent accounts on Chinese social media that are not officially registered but can publish their original content. The order listed eight types of violations including arbitrarily making a distorted interpretation of the official policies and predicting a gloomy future for the Chinese economy and financial market; irresponsibly posting news and commentaries from overseas; spreading rumors and false information; manipulating the official economic and financial news reports; acting as a “black mouth” which refers to the commentators who post comments that disturb the social order; using negative information to threaten, intimidate, or blackmail the relevant party for financial benefits; hype negative social events to incite emotion, anxiety and panic; or fraudulent use of the name of state officials or experts to open up a financial column.

On Saturday, China’s largest social media platforms WeChat, TikTok, Sina Weibo and Kuaishou quickly issued statements stating that they will comply with the requirement and clean up any violations.

Source: Voice of America, August 28, 2021