Chinese regulator removes mobile phone apps

Updated 2018-04-18 09:14:16

Ministry blacklists companies, cracks down on live-streaming applications

China's cultural regulator inspected more than 4,900 live-streaming apps and removed 370 online performance platforms in its latest campaign against forbidden online products, media reported Tuesday.

China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism removed 370 mobile phone apps and blacklisted 14 companies for forging operating licenses, People's Daily reported.

Inspectors targeted content including pornography, violence and gambling on 30 live-streaming platforms and identified 190 cases at 110 live streaming studios, it said.

Among the 30 live streaming platforms inspected were market leaders like Huajiao, Douyu and Huya. Public participation helped to identify the regulators' targets for inspection, the Beijing-based national newspaper reported.

"Some online platforms such as live-streaming and especially online games that contain illegal information, are harmful especially to adolescents and students, who can easily get addicted," Qin An, head of the Institute of China Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global Times.

The inspectors focused on games containing violence, gambling, illicit advertising and content considered a threat to public morality, the report said.

Inspectors also targeted games that fail to install technology that helps to prevent juvenile addiction. Games that fail to set up real-name registration are also targeted, the People's Daily report said.

"Harsher punishment should be imposed on companies and netizens who break the law," Qin said.

"Companies should be encouraged to take more social responsibility while network security awareness and knowledge should be further promoted with the public," he said.

The campaign has won support from some Weibo users who also complained online about a chaotic market inundated with pornography and violence due to lack of regulation.

Accurate research should be conducted ahead "so as to better distinguish between good and bad games before punishment," Liaoliao, a thirty-something Beijing gamer, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The operational mode of internet platforms will change, Qin believed.

Companies and platforms that provide security, happiness and a sense of gain while taking more social responsibilities are the ones that will earn more respect and profits, he said.

"Gaming disorder" is listed by the World Health Organization among disorders in the first draft of the international classification of diseases, according to a recent report by New Scientist magazine.

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