Cloud services closed for porn

By Yang Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-6 0:43:03

Online storage space is national territory: expert

China has shut down several companies' cloud storage services after they allegedly became a haven for pornography and piracy, triggering further questions about privacy concerns among netizens and analysts.

Telecommunications giant Huawei on Wednesday announced the closure of its online storage service DBank in cooperation with "relevant authorities to clean up pornography and piracy that are spreading on the cloud services."

All data on DBank will be deleted after July 1, when the service will be terminated, according to the company's official announcement.

DBank, which has a total of 1.4 million users, is reportedly the sixth company to shut down its cloud services, along with other Internet giants Sina, Tencent and Kingsoft, according to China Central Television (CCTV). Two of the companies, Tencent and 115 Cloud Drive (, later denied the shutdown in comments to the Global Times.

E-commerce giant Alibaba was the first to say it would halt its online storage service back in March, followed by Sina on April 25, news site reported.

Pornographic videos are widespread on cloud services, as some users upload such videos to their cloud service accounts and then put their accounts up for sale, according to Xin Haiguang, a Beijing-based Internet observer. It is therefore justifiable for the government to step in and curb such activity, Xin explained.

"Internet companies only provide the technology to build cyber spaces for online storage, but in the end, these spaces belong to China's online territory and, hence, fall within the government's jurisdiction," Qin An, a cyber security expert at the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, told the Global Times. Qin added that it is also a common practice in Western countries for governments and companies to work together to safeguard cyberspace.

However, Xin noted that homemade sex videos that some netizens may also upload onto their personal accounts should be treated as private information, and companies would have no right to check or supervise such information.

Other cloud service providers such as search engine Baidu and Internet company Qihoo360 - which boast 38.4 million and 6.74 million users, respectively - have shown no sign of suspending their operations, CCTV added.

"We are offering free online storage service. We have put more manpower and resources into monitoring the content on our platform," a press officer of Qihoo360 told the Global Times, without elaborating further.

"The government has the right to supervise and intercept illegal information spread online, while companies are also obliged to prevent such information from being uploaded online in the first place by using filtration technology," Xie Yongjiang, deputy director of the Institute of Internet Governance and Law at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, told the Global Times. He added that netizens have also been mobilized to report on illegal information.

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