China tightens control over instant messaging services

China tightens control over instant messaging services
The regulation aims at promoting the healthy development of the fast-growing instant messaging sector and safeguarding national security and public interests, the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) which passed the new rule said.

Targeting China’s 5.8 million public accounts on subscription-based mobile apps such as Tencent’s mobile text and voice messaging service WeChat, the new regulation will take immediate effect.

Registrants of public accounts are obliged to register with real names and reviewed by service providers before being qualified to release information, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Users shall abide by laws and regulations, the socialist system, national interests, the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, public order, social morality and ensure the authenticity of the information they provide, the regulation states.

Meanwhile, providers of instant messaging services shall be responsible for their safe operations, protection of users’ personal information and citizens’ privacy, be subject to public supervision and handle illegal information in a timely manner.

Should users of such services break the terms, regulators will warn violators, limit their rights to release information, suspend their renewals or even close their accounts, based on the degree of the violation.

Popular instant messaging platforms including Tencent’s WeChat allow users to send text, photos, videos and voice messages over mobile devices.


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