China's government plans to step up its supervision of blogs and search engines in a bid to stamp out "illegal and unhealthy" content, the country's state-owned media reported this week.
"This market must be regulated; we need to strengthen our research in technology and management," said Cai Wu, director of the State Council Information Office, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The State Council is China's highest administrative body.
Chinese officials generally keep a close watch on Internet content, blocking access to overseas sites they dislike and jailing dissidents that post political tracts online. But amidst the explosive growth of China's Internet population, censors have focused on restricting political content while offering more room to non-political content.
Officials have yet to determine how to improve their supervision of blogs and search engines, the report said.
China has more than 36 million blogs written by an estimated 16 million bloggers, Cai said, citing figures published by Tsinghua University in Beijing. The number of blogs in China will top 60 million by the end of this year, he said.