China shuts down 4,000 websites and online accounts

The Chinese government has blocked selected sites as part of a three-month campaign to tackle "harmful information"


More than 4,000 websites and online accounts have been shut down by the Chinese government following a three-month campaign to tackle "harmful information" according to the country's illegal publication watchdog.

China is notorious for keeping its internet under tightly regulated control and has been cracking down on illegal online activities, such as pornography, gambling and religious "propaganda".

Some sites have also been taken down for what is deemed to be false reporting. In 2015, 50 sites were blocked for "spreading rumors" following a chemical explosion in Tianjin.

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This current campaign, which began in May this year, has seen the authorities tackle 120 internet violations in addition to ordering 230 firms to rectify irregularities. According to China's National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications more than 147,000 pieces of harmful information were removed in August.

The tightening of internet regulations has been increasing since the appointment of President Xi Jinping in 2012. At the opening ceremony of the country's second World Internet Conference in 2015, Xi Jinping stated: "We should respect the right of individual countries to independently choose their own path of cyber-development."

He also decried foreign interference "in other countries' internal affairs".

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