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China Cracks Down on 100 Apps for Illegal Collection of Personal Data

By Qian Tong and Denise Jia / Dec 05, 2019 04:02 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese authorities are launching a crackdown on illegal collection of personal information by apps, taking offline 100 violating apps ranging from banks to retailers and an online book platform.

The apps were found to lack privacy agreements, to provide inexplicit descriptions of the scope of use of personal information and to collect unnecessary personal information. Twenty-seven apps were asked to correct wrongdoing, 63 received warnings, 10 were fined and two were put under investigation as criminal cases, the Ministry of Public Security said Wednesday.

Among apps taken offline were those of China Everbright Bank, Tianjin Rural Commercial Bank and Bank of Tianjin; micro-shop app Weidian; cross-border shopping app Kaola Haitao; popular online novel reading platform Jinjiang; real estate information app Fang.com; and auto information app Chexun.com.

Caixin found that violators were concentrated in finance and cash loans, online education, online reading and e-commerce segments. Among them, 18 are online education apps, mostly vertical apps targeting certain users. An advertising industry participant told Caixin that advertisers favor such vertical apps because it’s more effective to place ads targeting their users, which in turn encourages these apps to collect users’ information.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com)


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