The Chinese internet watchdog has said it has fined technology platforms operated by e-commerce company Alibaba and games company Tencent for disseminating sexual content involving children, as regulators seek to clean up content harmful to minors

HONG KONG – China’s internet watchdog said on Wednesday it had fined platforms operated by e-commerce company Alibaba and games company Tencent for disseminating sexual content involving children, while regulators seek to clean up content harmful to minors.

Platforms such as Alibaba Taobao e-commerce marketplace, Tencent’s QQ messaging service, Kuaishou live streaming site, Sina Weibo microblogging platform, and social media and e-commerce service Xiaohongshu were fined for distributing sexually suggestive stickers or short videos of children, he said.

Companies have been ordered to rectify the problem and ban accounts that use such content to attract more traffic.

The crackdown on inappropriate content involving minors comes as the government ramps up control of technology platforms in the country. Regulators are investigating Chinese tech companies on a range of issues, including anti-competitive and data practices.

“Regarding the violation of the legal rights and interests of minors, a ‘zero tolerance’ attitude will be adopted and enforced to clean up online issues that endanger the physical and mental health of minors,” the Administration said. Chinese cyberspace. A declaration.

In recent months, some Chinese media have denounced sexually suggestive photos of children used by some stores on platforms such as Taobao and Xiaohongshu to sell clothes, as well as stickers suggestive of children on messaging apps.

The internet regulator said his campaign included targeting minors on live streaming platforms, pornographic and violent content in lessons on online education platforms and animations with violent horror themes or inappropriate.

Earlier this month, the regulator announced that it would investigate data security concerns with ridesharing company Didi Global Inc. In April, Alibaba was also fined $ 2.8 billion following an anti-monopoly investigation, and food delivery giant Meituan is under investigation for suspected antitrust practices. .

The internet watchdog also recently announced that it would require companies wishing to register abroad to apply for its approval first.

Globally, tech companies and governments are paying more attention to how to prevent online child abuse and abuse.

Last month, the UK also released a new guide for businesses on how they can protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse on their platforms.

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