May 22, 2021 05:45 AM

Douyin, Kuaishou Cited for Illegally Collecting Personal Data

What’s new: China’s popular short-video apps Douyin and Kuaishou were on a long list of companies blasted by the country’s cyber-security regulator for illegally collecting users’ data.

The Cyberspace Administration cited 105 mobile apps Friday for breaching data rules and ordered operators of the apps to submit rectification reports within 15 business days or face punishment, the agency said.

Others on the list include LinkedIn, Baidu Inc., Sogou Inc., and 51job Inc. Their apps were caught collecting unnecessary data from users or obtaining user information without consent, the regulator said.

The background: Chinese authorities have stepped up scrutiny of tech companies’ handling of user data after a raft of high-profile breaches sparked a public outcry over privacy protection. Last week, the top telecom regulator ordered the removal of 90 mobile applications from various app stores, citing violations of users’ rights.

Multiple regulators jointly issued new rules in March clarifying what categories of data can be considered necessary for apps and stipulating that apps should not deny users access to basic services if they refuse to share data outside the designated categories. The rules cover 39 types of mobile apps including those that provide navigation, ride hailing, instant messaging, and payment and lending services.

App operators are likely to face tougher punishments for data abuse after the new Personal Information Protection Law is passed, analysts said. A draft of the law is being reviewed by the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Han Wei ( and editor Bob Simison (

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