Ahead of Lunar New Year and Winter Olympics, China vows to 'purge' internet

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Updated: Jan 26, 2022, 03:53 PM(IST)

File photo shows Chinese President Xi Jinping attending the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), in Beijing, China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The move expands the crackdown on the internet sector in China, as regulators seek to strengthen data privacy and consumer rights and curtail anti-competitive practices in order to curb the outsized influence of technology companies

China has vowed to ''purge'' the internet ahead of the Lunar New Year and Winter Olympics.

The announcement has been made by the Cyberspace Administration of China, which aims to  create a "healthy, happy, and peaceful online environment."

The move expands the crackdown on the internet sector in China, as regulators seek to strengthen data privacy and consumer rights and curtail anti-competitive practices in order to curb the outsized influence of technology companies.

China's cyber regulatory body issued draft rules governing mobile apps, including a requirement for security reviews of apps whose functions could influence public opinion.

The proposed regulations are part of its campaign run to increase oversight of the country's tech companies.

The proposals will require application providers to carry out a security assessment before launching "new technologies, new applications, and new functions" capable of influencing opinion or mobilising the public.

The regulator added that mobile app providers must not conduct activities that endanger national security, or force users to share non-essential personal information.

Also read | The year China went rogue on itself: Will crackdowns hamper economic growth?

The CAC said it would focus on cyberbullying and the spreading of online rumours, as well as any online behaviours that could be considered to be showing off lavish lifestyles, encouraging the worship of money or superstition.

It will also strictly prevent "illegal and immoral" celebrities from holding any online events that could help them make a comeback, it added.

The fanfare ahead of next month's Beijing's Winter Olympics is building in China but President Xi Jinping appeared to play down focus on the medals table.

"I don't care how many gold medals Chinese athletes win this time, I care more about the motivation and vitality it will inject into us in the future," Xi told visiting International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Tuesday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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