Thursday, 08 June 2017 16:33

China Intensifies Controls on Search Engines and Online News Portals

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On Sunday, China vowed to intensify controls on search engines and online news portals. As part of President Xi Jinping’s drive to maintain the Communist Party’s power over content, the latest move will further increase the country’s Internet regulations.

China’s “cyber sovereignty” has been the main concern of Xi’s sweeping campaign to reinforce security. The Chinese president has also stressed the responsibility of the ruling Communist Party in regulating and directing the online discussion.

The Party and the State Council, or Cabinet, issued a cultural development plan covering a five-year period. The plan necessitates for “perfecting” of laws and regulations connected to the use of the Internet.

According to a report by the Xinhua News Agency, the plan includes a qualification system for people who are working in online news.

“Strike hard against online rumors, harmful information, fake news, news extortion, fake media and fake reporters,” the report said without giving details.

Xi has been clear that media must abide by the Party line, maintain the correct guidance on public opinion and support “positive propaganda.”

The plan follows the existing strict Internet controls. The current regulations prohibit access to popular foreign websites including Google and Facebook.

Last week, the government increased controls over online news portals and network providers. Such controls are essential as the country faces increasing security threats, regulators said, adding that controls are made in line with the law.

As the government seeks to boost the country’s cultural sector, the plan appeals for efforts to boost and enhance “positive propaganda.”

“Strengthen and improve supervision over public opinion,” the plan added.

The plan also beckons for increased efforts in supporting China’s standpoint and cultural soft power across the globe, without disclosing further details.

As China tightens controls on search engines and online news portals, the government is confident that its move will uphold the Communist Party’s control over Internet content.

Source: This article was published en.yibada.com By Rachel Briones

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