China to tighten hold on Internet, citing worries about nation's stability

In recent months, China has been cracking down on Internet users for spreading rumors

China is moving to tighten its grip over social networking services even more, citing possible threats to stability.

On Friday, Chinese authorities released a new blueprint for the country's future that covered economic and social reforms including loosening the nation's decades old one-child policy. But in the online space, the government showed no signs of shifting gears in its vast censorship of the Internet.

The government instead pointed to problems with its existing system to manage the flow of online information. Currently, there are too many different overseeing departments, resulting in inconsistencies and a lack of efficiency, the government said in a posting, explaining the reforms.

"At the same time, due to the rise of online media, the Internet regulatory systems that manage the media and the industry are falling far behind to catch up with the new changes," the post stated.

The government referred to the growing popularity of Chinese social networking and instant messaging tools as a major worry. The services can rapidly disseminate information and mobilize society, the posting said.

The authorities specifically mentioned Weixin, a mobile chatting app developed by local Internet giant Tencent. The app has taken China by storm, and boasts over 200 million monthly average users. Outside of the country, the app is better known as WeChat.

To make the Internet "more secure," China plans to bolster its regulatory systems, and increase the scope of their legal authority, the government said without offering further details.

China has already gained notoriety for its strict censorship of the Internet, and has blocked foreign sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Local social networking services, however, continue to operate, but self-censor content by sometimes deleting politically sensitive or anti-government posts.

Despite that, in recent months Chinese authorities have been cracking down on Internet users for allegedly fabricating rumors online. In September, China said it would hand out jail sentences to users found guilty.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentsocial mediaregulationinternetsocial networkingInternet-based applications and servicesGovernment of China

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?