Chinese Websites Bow to Government Crackdown

The Chinese government’s efforts to crack down on how the Internet is used by its people are growing again. Chinese search and microblogging websites announced on Tuesday they would cooperate with the country’s government in cracking down on rumors spreading across the Internet.

Three major websites in the country — sina.com, baidu.com, and qq.com — said they would improve self-management and cooperate with relevant government departments. The Internet society of China had released a written proposal on Monday asking websites to help prevent the spread of online rumors.

An unidentified chief of Sina Corp (NASDAQ:SINA) said websites should not be a hotbed for the spreading of rumors and that his organization would try to get users to participate in rumor clarification. He insisted most users approved of the measure.

A representative from Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), China’s largest search engine, said the website would delete illegal and fake information in its search results and increase investment to try to minimize disinformation.

Last month, authorities shut down 16 websites and detained six people accused of “fabricating or disseminating online rumors.” Sina and Tencent Weibo also shut down their comments sections from March 30 until April 3.