China bans internet news sites that were doing their own reporting

by WorldTribune Staff, July 26, 2016

The Chinese government has banned several online news portals that were producing original investigative reports.

Journalists at privately operated Chinese news portals are only accredited to cover sports or entertainment events. /Reuters
Journalists at privately operated Chinese news portals are only accredited to cover sports or entertainment events. /Reuters

News services run by Sina, Sohu, NetEase and iFeng were shut down for publishing independent reports instead of carrying official, state-produced news, local media said.

In February, President Xi Jinping toured state media outlets and said journalists “must give absolute loyalty to the Communist Party.”

Most Chinese news sites are required to rely on news published by official state media, such as Xinhua, and are prohibited from gathering or reporting on political or social issues themselves.

Major online news columns, such as Sina’s News Geek, Sohu’s Click Today, and NetEase’s Signpost, have all been closed, along with related social media accounts, newspapers Beijing Daily and the Beijing News reported.

They had “published large amounts of independently-gathered news reports, in serious violation of the rules,”and could also face fines, the reports said.

Thousands of Chinese cyber-police keep track of the internet and social media, and material deemed politically and socially sensitive is filtered.

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