|Some of China's leading internet sites have been punished for failing to control what the government terms 'harmful information.' |
Beijing carried out one of its largest law-enforcement check-ups of the internet ahead of the 16th Chinese Communist Party National Congress, which meets in the autumn.
The authorities ban rumours, libel, subversion, sabotage of national security, the promotion of cults and feudal superstition, as well as pornography, violence and gambling. Ten major domestic web portals were targeted, with Tom.com, Sina and FM365 due to undergo regular inspections over the next three months.
'China made it very clear it would vet what was shown on those sites,' Hong Kong broker Howard Gorges said.
The onus was on the operators of the sites to screen the content and ensure nothing was published that the Chinese government would consider 'harmful'.
It is unclear how long the internet crackdown will continue, or whether there will be a gradual liberalisation of the network.