The Latest Insights from International Online Marketing
10 August 2015.
The Chinese government has announced plans to deploy police officers to major Chinese tech firms, where they will enforce strict censorship laws.
The government did not say which companies the police officers will be sent to, but it is expected that Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu will be among those targeted.
China’s internet censorship laws ban pornographic and other “offensive” content, including “the spreading of rumours”.
Last year, China made it a criminal offence to broadcast any defamatory content online. A perpetrator can face up to 3 years imprisonment if the information has been viewed by 5,000 people or re-posted 500 times.
The Chinese social network Weibo also recently announced that it will start removing images of women in their underwear or swimwear.
International commentators have spoken out against this latest crackdown on internet freedom by the Chinese government, with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation saying that the move will “limit free speech and exert more state control on information flows”.
The Chinese government insisted the presence of police officers in tech firms was purely to help to companies fight cybercrime, saying: “The units will be able to get a fast grasp on suspected illegal online activities, and serve and direct the websites to improve their ability to safeguard security”.