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Chinese Regulators Investigate Baidu, Tencent and Weibo over Content

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Published on : Aug 11, 2017

Online watchdog of China has begun an investigation into multiple reports of violations by news services run by Baidu Inc., Weibo Corp., and Tencent Holdings Ltd. This investigation is a part of the government’s plan of maintaining a tight scrutiny over the internet content.

On Friday, the Cyberspace Administration of China announced that it has instructed its Guangdong and Beijing branches to take a look at the reports against some of the biggest online services providers in the country. The reports suggested that the online services are packed with user-generated matter laden with porn, violence, rumors to disrupt the social order. The regulation authorities declined to specify what actions might be taken against the service providers. All three companies, Baidu, Weibo, and Tencent offered no immediate comment on the news.

China has put increasing pressure over the online media on the backdrop of a vital Communist Party conference later this year that is anticipated to cement the authority of President Xi Jinping. Intent on censoring possible sources of troublesome information, the China government has shut down websites and livestreaming services, put out more stringent regulation to govern the internet access, and issued frequent notices about the need to revise the online content through multiple agencies. Analysts say the added scrutiny is also a feature of Xi’s administration.

This latest investigation probe involves three of China’s biggest repositories of internet musing, all with over millions of users. WeChat messaging service of Tencent, Twitter like blog of Weibo, and ‘Teiba’ forums of Baidu have all come under intense scrutiny.