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Web Regulator Slams Weibo for ‘Disturbing Online Order’

By Heather Mowbray / Jun 11, 2020 03:35 AM / Business & Tech

Beijing’s internet watchdog ordered China’s biggest social media site Sina Weibo Wednesday to freeze its popular topics list for one week as punishment for what the regulator said was interfering with online communications order.

The notice, published by the Cyberspace Administration of China, said Weibo “disturbed online order” and posted “illegal information in violation of regulations,” without giving specific details.

The popular topics list, which appears on the right-hand side of Weibo’s homepage, will not be updated for a week starting Wednesday afternoon, according to the notice. The administration also asked its Beijing branch to fine Weibo for the violations and ordered the company to rectify its internal review procedures.

Earlier this week, internet regulators issued penalties to livestreaming platforms and gaming sites as part of a renewed six-month campaign against pornography and “unlawfulness.”

The administration said Weibo’s violations related to an incident involving a person surnamed Jiang, without giving further details. Online users speculated that the regulator might refer to Weibo’s handling of viral posts in April regarding an alleged affair of Alibaba’s e-commerce chief Jiang Fan.

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