China internet watchdog to clean up websites targeting under 18s

China internet watchdog
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s internet watchdog said it was kicking off a two-month campaign to clean up websites aimed at users under the age of 18, saying it wanted to promote a healthy online environment.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said on its website on Tuesday that under the campaign it will look at content on online learning websites as well as ones that have livestreaming or instant messaging tools aimed at minors.

The regulator intends to “strictly control information and actions that induce minors to carry out behaviours which have value-oriented problems such as the chasing of entertainment stars with no limits in mind or worshipping money”, it said.

The watchdog also said it had recently ordered the people in charge of the Xueersi Online School app, a unit of TAL Education Group, to clean up the app’s “low-brow” content after finding issues with its videos and articles.

China has stringent rules on content ranging from video games to movies to music, and censors anything it believes violates core socialist values. In the past, it has imposed limits on online playtime for young users amid reports of rising gaming addiction among children.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Related article: China ‘cleans up’ internet in apparent censorship campaign

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