China’s Internet watchdog has ordered some of the country’s largest online platforms to remove inappropriate content related to children.
Kuaishou, Tencent’s QQ messaging tool, Taobao and Alibaba’s Weibo were summoned to the Chinese Cyberspace Administration (CAC).
The CAC said the platforms should “fix” and “clean up” all illegal content and fined them.
The announcement came amid Beijing’s crackdown on tech companies.
The CAC said in a statement that “the operation seeks to address seven types of serious Internet problems that endanger the physical and mental health of minors.” These include:
- Children starring in TV shows and becoming authority figures on social media, promoting “money worship” and extravagance.
- Pornographic and violent content
- Unacceptable cartoons with erotic and violent content
- Forums that encourage behavior such as suicide or participation in child pornography
- Fan clubs in which children have participated in fundraisers
- “Bad social behavior” such as cyberbullying.
- Inadequate responses to youth Internet addiction
Platforms have been given a deadline to remove content that violates the guidelines, and fines have been imposed, though the statement does not provide details on how long companies must comply or how much the fines are.
China’s largest Internet companies have come under increasing scrutiny this year as Beijing tightens its grip on the tech industry.
Earlier this month, shares of Chinese transportation giant Didi Chuxing plummeted after the CAC ordered online retailers not to offer the Didi app, claiming that it illegally collected users’ personal information.
In March, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said it fined 12 companies for 10 deals that violated antitrust rules.
Those companies included Tencent, Baidu, Didi Chuxing, SoftBank and a firm backed by ByteDance, SAMR said in a statement.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, President Xi Jinping ordered regulators to strengthen oversight of Internet companies, crack down on monopolies and promote fair competition.