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China pledges to “clean up” the internet

China’s cyber regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), is launching a two-month special operation to "clean up" the internet.

China pledges to “clean up” the internet

The clampdown on social media networks and video-sharing sites will see "deceptive online behaviours" targeted. These will include artificially boosting engagement figures and paying for fake fans and reviews.

The clampdown follows a growing trend amongst Chinese regulators to clampdown on several sectors, including increasing governmental oversight of the technology, real estate, education, gaming, finance and cryptocurrency sectors.

The CAC hosted a video conference last Wednesday attended by provincial and municipal authorities from across China, according to a statement the regulator posted on its website last Thursday.

The CAC statement said "fabricating online traffic, malicious public relations and comments-for-cash... harm the legitimate rights and interests of netizens," and pledged this was the "final battle" in its clean-up drive of the internet.

The statement did not name any individuals or companies, but did mention that platforms hosting book and film reviews, video-sharing platforms, and social networking would be among the chief targets of the operation.

The news follows the imposition of fines earlier this month on both Douban, an online discussion forum, and Weibo, the micro-blogging site, for publishing unlawful content.

China’s State Council published guidelines for the internet in September, stipulating that the internet should be used to promote the ruling Chinese Communist Party and its achievements.

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