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“Original Reporting” Banned, News Websites to Take Orders from Xinhua

Sites blamed for "negative effects" of original reporting

The state continues to tighten its grip on China’s Internet. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has issued a new order banning a number of Internet news outlets from publishing original content.

Internet news sites that have been shut down include Sohu’s “People (in) News”, “Radial”, and “Strike Today”; iFeng’s “Serious Report”; Sina’s “Geek News”; and NetEase’s “Echo” and “Signpost”.

The new sources are all said to have “severely violated” internet regulations by publishing news stories obtained through original sources that are all responsible for “negative effects”, reported Bloomberg. The ban means that all internet news outlets offering “current affairs news” can only publish news reports provided by government-controlled print or online media, and not provided by their own personnel.

“Current affairs news” is a sweeping term in China that encompasses all news and commentary related to politics, economics, military, foreign affairs and social issues, according to the draft version of China’s online information law.

Earlier this month, the CAC banned Chinese news from using social media as a source for news stories as a “campaign against fake news and the spreading of rumors”. Also in July, the Ministry of Culture cracked down on live-stream video sites by making content providers legally responsible for the content they publish.

Last month, tight restrictions were placed on Chinese mobile phone games that require their pre-approval by State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRT), a decision for which it is being sued.

In April, Apple’s iTunes store in China had its movies and books section shut down by SAPPRT.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor