Chinese government targets tech firms in the app privacy crackdown
Date: 2019-12-21   Author: Saipriya Iyer  Category: #news

Chinese government targets tech firms in the app privacy crackdown

The Chinese government on Thursday ordered Chinese tech companies to clean up how they handle user data or be ready to face possible penalties. Chinese tech giant Tencent was also included in the list of companies being targeted.

This order is the latest in an array of crackdowns initiated by Communist authorities who promote internet usage but are slowly tightening censorship as well as other controls on companies. Violators in the previous crackdowns have lost their licenses or have had to pay other penalties that resulted in them cutting into their revenues or caused severe drop in their organization’s share price.

The ministry stated that 41 apps failed in a test following orders in July to make sure that they comply with customer information rules. Violations included improper collection or usage of information of visitors to their online services.

The ministry further added that organizations must comply before December 31 or face related resolution works. It did not give any details regarding the penalties. However, according to data protection norms, possible penalties would be loss of operating licenses and fines.

Violators of the data compliance rules include Sina Corp.’s Sina Sports, Tencent Holding Ltd.’s QQ messaging app, Xiaomi Corp.’s Xiaomi Finance, and Sohu.com Ltd.’s Sohu News.

China has the biggest number of internet users with over 800 million people online. However, the country also practices extensive censorship and monitoring. The government needs operators of social media services and websites to enforce growing pervasive censorship regulations. Details are not known but conversations of topics that are politically sensitive usually disappear from websites.

Regulators have increased control from the last decade by reducing anonymous use of the internet. They also command website operators to keep duplicates of anything posted by the public on them and are tightening censorship.

In 2014, Sina’s online publication license was canceled. The company was charged since it allowed lewd videos and articles to be posted over its platform.

In 2018, Tencent’s share price witnessed a fall after government regulators slowed the authorization of new online games. The regulators proposed tighter oversight due to the complaints that the country’s young population was spending a lot of time playing these games.

 

Source credit: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/china-targets-tech-giants-in-app-privacy-crackdown/



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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer currently works as a content developer for AlgosOnline. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had a previous experience of 3 years under her belt, she has dabbled with website...

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