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China summons big tech groups over explicit content

July 22, 2021 1:40 am

China's top cyber regulator warned several big techs over explicit material and exploitation of children on their platforms.

Details: The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Wednesday it summoned representatives of short video app Kuaishou, popular fashion platform Xiaohongshu, microblogging app Weibo, Tencent's messaging tool QQ, and Alibaba's Taobao for spreading child-related obscene content. 

Children under the age of 16 were “strictly forbidden” from appearing in live video streams, the regulator warned in the statement. The companies were also told to “clean up” animation videos that “exposed characters, erotic and vulgar plots, bloody horror scenes and others dangerous behaviors”.

The CAC warned it would take a “zero tolerance” approach and increase punishments and penalties for violations.

Context: Since the beginning of this year, China has strengthened supervision on its once loosely regulated internet giants. In April, Chinese officials convened multiple representatives of the country’s biggest fintech companies and told them to “rectify” all the problems on their platforms.

Earlier this month, the CAC also ordered the ride-hailing giant Didi to be removed from app stores and conduct rectification over data security issues.