China steps up its control over internet news


China is quite famous with the way it handles its internet content. If you didn’t know that China had its own internet rules, you do now and those rules are about to get even tighter.
The Cyberspace Administrationof China (CAC) which is China’s internet regulator announced yesterday the newly updated regulations.

The updated regulations would require obtaining a license from the government before an online news broadcaster may be able to publish news on the internet and also on social media platforms.

This new regulations will come into effect from the 1st of June.
China  has put in place a censorship firewall “Great Firewall”, which blocks popular sites like Google, Twitter and Wikipedia, it leaves Chinese internet users with services like Baidu and Weibo. The mainland is also set to release its own version of wikipedia next year.

China ranks 5th from the bottom on the World Press Freedom Index, as compiled by “Reporters without Borders.”
In 12 years the revisions are the first of its kind and encompass “websites, applications, public accounts, blogs, forum, microblogs, instant messaging tools and internet broadcasts.” They come at a time when speculations are running high with regard to the possibility of China unblocking Google.

The reaction of tech companies to this remains to be seen, however Google and Baidu refused to comment on the issue, although Baidu which operates a news distribution service had obtained the license for internet news information services some years ago, says Baidu spokeswoman.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) also known as the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs, is the central Internet censorship, oversight, and control agency for the People’s Republic of China.

The CAC was founded in 2014. As of June 29, 2016, the agency is headed by Xu Lin, who had been deputy to former head Lu Wei. The CAC answers to the Central Leading Group for Internet Security and Informatization which is headed by Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. The deputy heads are Li Keqiang, the Premier of the State Council of China, and Liu Yunshan, the head of the Propaganda and Ideology Leading Group.

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