The government of China announced today that it would crackdown mobile apps featuring pornography and obscene content. The latest move of the Chinese government is part of its campaign to clean the internet.
Since last year, China’s ruling Communist Party strengthened its effort against rumors and pornography citing the reason that it harmful to the country. According to the Ministry of Industry Information Technology (MIIT), the government’s anti-pornography campaign targeting apps on mobile devices will encourage companies to remove offensive materials voluntarily.
The MIIT also emphasized that China will also “enhance its abilities to discover pornographic and obscene apps” and “improve the process of punishment.”
China does not tolerate public opposition
Critics commented that China’s latest crackdown ant-pornographic crackdown aims to suppress criticisms against the government. Chinese President Xi Jingping is well-known for his harsh position against internet activism and free speech. He made it clear that the leadership of the Communist Party will remain unchallenged, and the government will not tolerate public opposition.
It had been reported that Pres. Jingping instructed Chinese surveillance agencies to build an army of online social media supporters and to boost the government’s methods in censorship and surveillance. The Chinese government is closely monitoring online message boards, search activities, and websites visited by its people. It is also regularly detaining people for “rumor-mongering.”
China has largest online population
China has the largest online population worldwide. The country has 632 million internet users and 83% use smartphone to access the web by the end of June this year, according to China Internet Network Information.
The online population in the country is slightly more than double the entire estimate online users in the United States. China’s online users increased 14 million year-to-date alone, which is approximately equivalent to the combined residents of Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.
Mobile messaging apps are popular among Chinese users. WeChat of Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG:0700) holds the leading position in the country. According to the users of the company, there are chat groups that are sharing lewd animated clips and images.
In April, Weibo, a Chinese social-media platform revealed that it is struggling with China’s censorship. In a regulatory filing, the company admitted that the government’s regulation of content hinders its ability to succeed.