Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Government Calls Out Sina Blogs for "Distorting Party History"

On January 7, 2017, the the Cyberspace Administration of China published a notice on its website entitled "Sina, Global Times,, and Other Websites Post Harmful Information in Violation of Rules, Get Reported by China's Internet Users" (新浪网、环球网、中华网等网站违规刊载有害信息 受到网民集中举报). Some excerpts:
In 2016, the the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center (hereinafter "Reporting Center") received almost 1,000,000 reports from the public. These included reports that Sina, Global Times, Netease,, Voice of China, Shangdu,, and Chongqing Online were publishing harmful information in violation of rules, or were providing a platform for the publication of harmful information. There was a strong negative public reaction.
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Based on user reports and a selective examination by the Reporting Center, various channels on Sina included vulgar and revealing photos, text and information, and there was a relatively large quantity of posts on Sina blogs that distorted Party and national history, spread evil cults and promoted pornographic videos. 
Netease's "Headline Party" problem was particularly acute, and in an attempt to attract eyeballs it would maliciously distort headlines, publish articles selectively, exaggerate facts, and mislead the public. 
Some of the articles on the Global Times used vulgar and exotic language to attract readers, and had a harmful orientation. There was a lack of effective moderation of comments, and some comments were extremist and spread rumors.  
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

CAC Announces Rules to Regulate the Content of News Headlines

On January 13, 2017, the Cyberspace Administration of China published a notice on its website entitled “CAC Deepens Its Rectification of the ‘Headline Party’ Problem” (国家网信办深入整治“标题党”问题). Some excerpts:
In order to further purify the online public opinion environment and to attack the chaos of altering headlines, distorting the original meaning of news and other behaviors of the "headline party," the CAC in coordination with relevant agencies recently launched a one month rectification campaign and imposed sanctions on five websites with outstanding problems: Sina, Sohu, Netease, Phoenix, and Focus, and formulated specific rules for Internet news headlines.
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In order to strengthen long-term controls over the "Headline Party" problem, the CAC formulated and promulgated the "(Interim) Rules on the Administration of Internet News Headline Norms" (hereinafter the "Rules") which clearly require all websites to maintain a correct public opinion orientation that runs through all aspects of Internet news collecting, drafting, editing, and publishing. When reporting on all kind of significant news, but especially news that touches upon important political current events and major public disturbances, they must ensure that the content of all headlines transmits a position, standpoint, and attitude with a correct orientation, scrupulously abide by journalistic ethics, and strictly prohibit malicious distorted headlines that stir up trouble or deliberately create public opinion "hotspots."
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It is strictly prohibited to use "Breaking Online," "Spreading Online," or other indeterminate vocabulary in headlines for compiled reports or to describe the essential elements of news. It is strictly prohibited to employ any "Headline Party" techniques such as using content that is exaggerated, outrageous, or unconventional.
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In order to make it convenient for Internet users to participate in overseeing and reporting, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center has established an official website specifically for reporting websites with "Headline Party" problems (, and at the same time has demanded that the six major commercial websites Sina, Sohu, Netease, Tencent, Baidu, and Phoenix establish clearly visible reporting links on their home pages and arrange for personnel to accept Internet user reports 24 hours a day. 
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Monday, January 16, 2017

CAC Announces New Registration Requirements for Mobile App Stores

On January 13, 2017, the Cyberspace Administration of China published a notice on its website entitled “CAC Launches Registration of Internet App Stores” (国家网信办启动互联网应用商店备案工作). Some excerpts: 
In order to further promote the healthy and orderly development of the Internet app store industry and regulate mobile Internet application program the (APP) information services, the Cyberspace Administration of China recently issued the "Notice Regarding the Launching of an Internet App Store Registration Campaign" in accordance with the "Rules on the Administration of Mobile Internet Application Program Information Services" requiring that starting from January 16 Internet Information Offices in every province, autonomous region, and independent municipality shall officially commence work on registering Internet application stores.
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A CAC spokesperson explained that, Internet application store registration is aimed at overseeing and promoting app stores' taking responsibility, strengthening screening of apps that go up, promoting the healthy and orderly development of the mobile Internet, and will focus on "three applications": first, the operators of app store businesses must submit a registration application; second, when an app store's registered information changes it must apply to change its registration; third, when an app store ceases service it must apply to cancel its registration. 
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