China's cyberspace authorities continue standardizing online law enforcement; 420 apps shut down in 2022
Published: Jan 20, 2023 01:15 AM
Photo: CFP

Photo: VCG

Last year, the Chinese cyberspace authorities continued to intensify and standardize online law enforcement based on the principle of combining punishment with education, during which 8,608 websites and platforms were investigated, with 6,767 receiving warnings and 420 apps being shut down.

Among the 8,608 websites and platforms, 512 were fined and 621 were suspended from operating or updating, according to the announcement by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Thursday.

The CAC also worked with telecom authorities to cancel the license or registration of 25,233 illegal websites, and it provided relevant information to judicial organs.

The special campaign, named "Operation Qinglang," was launched by the CAC in 2021, aiming to create a better internet ecosystem in China.

In 2022, the cyberspace authorities focused on cracking down on internet rumors, chaotic information on Mobile Cloud & Network Services (MCNS), disorder in online livestreaming and short videos, online risks for minors, and algorithm abuse.

For example, some e-shops on online marketplace Taobao published and spread information prohibited by laws and regulations, so the cyberspace authorities ordered them to conduct rectifications. Punishments and suspensions were also handed out and Taobao was fined.

There were also some problems on social media platforms Sina Weibo and WeChat, so the cyberspace authorities had meetings with top executives from the two companies, ordering them to make rectifications and fining the platforms.

There was also pornographic content, violent content, vulgar information and other issues on platforms and websites including Tencent, Sina, Douyin, Baidu and NetEase, and these problems were also dealt with according to the law.

Separately, the cyberspace authorities have stepped up law enforcement in cybersecurity, data security and personal information protection. They also cracked down on major violations of laws and regulations.

In accordance with the Network Security Law, Data Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law, Didi Global, a ride-hailing giant in China, was given an administrative punishment.

In addition, the cyberspace authorities at all levels strictly implemented laws, regulations and relevant provisions, constantly standardizing online law enforcement and improving the quality of case handling, while also taking care to ensure that the facts of the cases were clearly identified, the evidence was sufficient, the application of laws was accurate, the procedures were legal, the punishment was accurate and appropriate, and that the law enforcement was strict, standardized, fair and civilized.

Nine government organs of China, including the Ministry of Public Security and Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), have launched a one-and-a-half-year nationwide campaign to crack down on and punish criminal activities related to the internet. They also vowed to make every effort to continue and deepen the fight against organized crime in cyberspace.

The campaign was announced in a joint statement on Monday. It also involves the Supreme People's Court, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the People's Bank of China. 

The statement said the joint action aims to severely punish the use of information networks to carry out criminal activities including extortion, usurious loans, malicious claims for compensation and "internet water army" activities, or paying people to post online comments. 

Also, the Cyberspace Administration of China launched a rectification campaign targeting the network environment and vowed to crack down on unscrupulous online influencers including those who show off their experience in jail and glorify prison life. 

The campaign running through the end of February will continue to consolidate the achievements made in the rectification of "fan circles" to maintain a sound ecology for culture and entertainment on the internet. 

The campaign will also focus on the rectification of all kinds of problems of unscrupulous "online influencers" and seriously deal with problematic celebrity vloggers who hype up bad deeds, including those who show off their experiences in jail and glorify the prison life. 

Global Times