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China Releases Annual Inspection Report on Online News Websites

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) recently released a report detailing the results of an annual inspection of the country’s online news information service units in 2016.  A total of 237 websites passed the annual inspection, eight including Sina.com and Netease.com were ordered to rectify their problems within a stipulated time period, and two saw their licences revoked.

According to the report, the online news information services provided by the 237 websites which have passed the annual review, including People.cn and Xinhuanet.com, were found to be compliant and satisfactory. Eight websites, namely Sina.cn, Netease.com, news.china.com, Huanqiu.com, voc.com.cn, Shangdu.cn, TOM.com and Chongqing Online, were found to have violated the regulations to different extents in the process of providing news information service, such as disseminating illegal and harmful information, and engaging in original reporting of political and current affairs issues while they are only permitted to carry state-run news stories. They have also been the targets of complaints from the public for failure to manage content effectively. These eight websites were ordered to rectify the situation within time limits, pursuant to the Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services and the Provisions on the Administration of Internet News Information Services. Those that still fail to meet the requirements after making corrections or continue to violate the rules during the course of rectification will be investigated and punished in accordance with the law. In serious cases, their online news service could even be suspended. It has also been discovered that “www.online.tj.cn” and “www.wuhan.net.cn” in fact no longer provide online news information service. Their licences for the provision of such service were thus cancelled pursuant to relevant regulations.

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