China government declares cyber-crime investigation: Sina Weibo, Baidu, and Tencent under scrutiny for breaking cyber laws

The government of China has declared an investigation involving three top-notch Chinese media giants - Sina Weibo, Baidu, and Tencent under the cyber security legislation. These three companies have reportedly violated the cybersecurity laws and have not taken an action against restricted information that has been shared on their social media platforms. The three behemoths have attained a massive pool of consumers through Weibo, Tieba, and WeChat respectively, most of whom have been found to be spreading terror, violence, obscene pornography, and false rumors. Adhering to this delicate issue, the cyberspace administration has decided to take a strict action against the country’s top tech firms to reduce the risks pertaining to the cyber world, in concern with national security and public safety.

The last month witnessed the cyber authorities calling in a meeting of these firms to sort out the security issues brought forth owing to their irresponsible user base. At the meeting, the regulatory authorities had reportedly presented the criminal content in front of the company’s officials and suggested that the firms undertake an extensive cleaning and rectification program to avoid the levying of any harsh punishment. Post this incident, Tencent’s shares have apparently dropped by 4%, which has been touted to be the highest share drop in a month.

China has operated the Great Firewall – the world’s most sophisticated online censorship program since a long time now. Recently, the government updated this program to crack down the use of VPNs within the Middle Kingdom. The Chinese government has also decided to block access to VPNs completely by February 2018 to reduce national security threats. To comply with this decision, the government authorities called upon the local internet service providers such as China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile in July 2017.

A massive ‘cleanup’ program has been launched by the China government to crack down unauthorized web platforms. This program has mandated VPN providers, ISPs, content delivery networks, and datacenters to obtain the required license and approval from government officials. Within the confines of this program, the government has enforced restrictions on business expansion beyond specific license limitations, which may resolve illegal cross border business problems. To remove the sources of disruptive information, the government has repeatedly notified various agencies regarding the ‘clean-up’ program.

Apart from enforcing a ban on messaging apps, the Chinese government has also blocked live-streaming services and websites to avoid the distribution of trouble-stirring information. China already banned popular social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube and services such as Gmail and Microsoft Outlook under the cybersecurity legislation. By the forthcoming year, the China government is planning to tighten the scrutiny on internet content by deploying new cyber security laws, which is likely to generate huge opportunities for the players in Asia Pacific enterprise cyber security market.

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Sunil Hebbalkar

Sunil develops content for Market Size Forecasters. A Post graduate mechanical design engineer by qualification, he worked as an intern at the defense lab for one year in the engine design and development department before switching his professional genre. Following his technical writing skills, he ...

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