The CAC says China’s internet cleansing is going great

the CAC Guangdong
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an office of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) in Beijing, China July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Thursday its campaign to “clean up” the country’s cyberspace had achieved positive results, and that “online chaos” on the country’s internet platforms had been effectively curbed.

China’s cyberspace regulator said in a statement that it had made those comments during a meeting it held with representatives from platforms including Sina Weibo, Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group, Baidu, Kuaishou, Meituan and Zhihu.

Chinese regulators launched the campaign last year with a key focus on cleaning up what they described as a “chaotic” celebrity fan culture.

They barred platforms from publishing lists of popular celebrities and ordered that fan groups be regulated. They also instructed firms to practise self-discipline and better oversee content on their platforms.

Earlier this month, the CAC issued draft rules on internet pop-up push services.

Advertising information must be compliant, and providers which push news must have licences, the CAC said in the statement.

During the meeting, which was held on Wednesday, CAC Vice Minister Sheng Ronghua, said the campaign, going into 2022, should be “specialised, strict and practical”, focusing on prominent online problems with a view to taking pragmatic measures.

The comments from the CAC come after what has been a bruising year for the once-freewheeling tech giants, which have been heavily targeted by regulators as part of a campaign to exert more control over swathes of the economy after years of runaway growth.

Last month, the CAC said a symposium it held with Chinese tech giants in January had given the industry a “clearer understanding” and more confidence in how to pursue development and opportunities as they adjust to a new regulatory landscape.

Investors have been watching closely for clues on whether the worst is over, given how the crackdown has roiled global markets and technology stocks over the past year.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Toby Chopra, Kirsten Donovan)

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