China may be mulling tighter net controls

Dylan Bushell-Embling
05 Sep 2011

China could be seeking even greater control over the internet, if recent commentary from state media are any indication.

Party mouthpiece the People's Daily published an opinion piece warning that the government's control is threatened by the emergence of social media.

The piece claims there are signs internet opinion is being “organized” by groups with “commercial interests or political intentions.”

It urges a rethink as to how China polices innovative internet services, criticising the light-touch policy that has allowed services by local players such as Sina and Tencent to flourish.

Reuters reports that while the piece does not represent a government pronouncement, it adds to the growing indications that stricter measures are being considered.

The publication comes in the wake of Sina's announcement that it would crack down on the publication of “rumors” on microblogging service Weibu, in response to government pressure.

People's Daily had also used the occasion of the August London riots to defend the practice of governments censoring communications services, and to present arguments for stronger controls worldwide.

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