China's tech firms back Beijing in controls on Internet

BEIJING Sun Nov 6, 2011 10:14am IST

A woman loads a Chinese microblog website on her Apple iPhone in Beijing, September 16, 2011.  REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

A woman loads a Chinese microblog website on her Apple iPhone in Beijing, September 16, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee/Files

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - The heads of China's largest technology companies have endorsed Beijing's aim to intensify controls of online social media, pledging to "stop the spread of harmful information" on the Internet, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday.

Some 10 top executives, including Sina Corp's Charles Chao, Baidu's Robin Li and Alibaba's Jack Ma, participated in the three-day discussion that ended on Saturday in Beijing hosted by the State Internet Information Office, one of the country's Internet regulators, Xinhua said.

China's Internet companies and Internet operators have "reached a common agreement" that they would "conscientiously safeguard the broadcasting of positive messages online," the report said.

"Resolutely curb the spread of rumours online, online pornography, Internet fraud and the illegal spread of harmful information on the Internet," the report said.

The meeting was presided over by Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, the government's propaganda and information arm.

The Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei, said Internet companies must increase their investment in "tracking surveillance".

In late October, Beijing vowed to strengthen Internet administration and promote content acceptable to the ruling party, according to a communique of a recent Communist Party party leadership conclave published in the official People's Daily.

The announcement from the Party meeting builds on a stream of warnings in state media that has shown Beijing is nervous about the booming microblogs, called "weibo" in Chinese, and their potential to tear the seams of censorship and controls.

China has repeatedly criticized microblogs for irresponsibility in spreading what it calls unfounded rumours, but analysts said the government is unlikely to shut down what has become an important valve for monitoring and easing social pressures.

The business impact is likely to be muted, because investors have already taken into account growing official scrutiny of Chinese Internet companies, analysts said.

Sina and other Chinese microblog operators already deploy technicians and software to monitor content and block and remove comment deemed unacceptable, especially about protests, official scandals and party leaders.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Lawsuit Against Google

TECH SHOWCASE

Uncertain Future

Uncertain Future

Demand for personal computers still erratic, outlook unstable.  Full Article 

 iPhone threat?

iPhone threat?

Apple iPhone a danger to China national security - state media  Full Article 

Alibaba IPO

Alibaba IPO

Top Alibaba execs, investors may expand board after IPO - filing  Full Article 

Changes Ahead

Changes Ahead

Microsoft CEO signals changes, defers talk on job cuts.  Full Article 

Drone Delivery

Drone Delivery

Amazon seeks FAA permission to test drones outdoors near Seattle.  Full Article 

Fighting Cyber Crime

Fighting Cyber Crime

Microsoft says cybercrime bust frees 4.7 mln infected PCs.  Full Article 

African Apps

African Apps

Digital warriors battle to get African games on phones.  Full Article 

Harassment Lawsuit

Harassment Lawsuit

Female Yahoo executive sued for sexual harassment.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage