Chinese media told to ‘shut down’ talk that makes country look bad – CNET

A woman views the Chinese social media w

China wants streaming service providers such as Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform, to remove all audio and visual content that discuss public affairs negatively.

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Being an internet business in China appears to be getting tougher. 

Chinese broadcasters, including social media platform Weibo, streamer Acfun and media company Ifeng were told to shut down all audio and visual content that cast the country or its government in bad light, China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television posted on its website on Thursday, saying they violate local regulations.

“[The service providers] broadcast large amounts of programmes that don’t comply with national rules and propagate negative discussions about public affairs. [The agency] has notified all relevant authorities and … will take measures to shut down these programmes and rectify the situation,” reads the statement.  

China is notorious for its stifling control over the internet and the media. The country ranks 176th out of 180 countries on the 2017 World Press Freedom Index, and its president Xi Jinping is listed as a “press freedom predator” and an “enemy of the Internet” by Reporters without Borders. The statement comes after revised regulations granting the government even more control took effect less than a month ago.

On its official Weibo account, Acfun acknowledged the order and said it will strengthen content management on its platform in compliance with the regulations.

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