Toutiao Ordered to Suspend Multiple Channels from Updating for 24 Hours

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Guided by the China Internet Network Information Office, the Beijing Internet Network Information Office ordered executives at Toutiao and Ifeng News to cease spreading “pornographic and vulgar information, and illegally providing Internet information services” on December 29.

The heads of Toutiao and Ifeng News said they would strictly implement the requirements of the Internet Network Information Office and conduct self-examination of relevant issues. They would suspend content updates on some channels that are “seriously illegal.”

Six channels on Toutiao, namely, “Recommendations,” “Hot Topics,” “Society,” “Pictures,” “Q&A” and “Finance,” will halt updates for 24 hours from 60 pm on December 29, to 6 pm on December 30. Two channels on Ifeng News, namely “Recommendations” and “Headlines,” will halt updates for 12 hours from 6 pm on December 29 to 6 pm on December 30.

Related officials at the Beijing Internet Network Information Office said Toutiao and Ifeng News violated laws and regulations as well as requirements for Internet management. They disseminated pornographic and vulgar information, committing serious errors and corrupting online opinion.

As it lacked an Internet news services qualification, Toutiao’s mobile client was determined to be reposting news illegally. Additionally, it used clickbait titles that “seriously disturbed the spread of online information.”

Ifeng News mobile client illegally collected and reposted news information, disturbing the online information spreading, officials said.

The Beijing Internet Network Information Office has ordered the companies to conduct in-depth self-regulation, to clean up illegal information and to prevent future incidents.

The heads of Toutiao and Ifeng News said they would strictly implement the requirements and would strengthen the website business and personnel management comprehensively and seriously. They said they would be responsible to society and netizens.

This article by Zhang Yang originally appeared in People’s Daily and was translated by Pandaily.
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