ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Politics

China orders four news apps to stop downloads

Move seen as further restriction on freedom of expression

News app Jinri Toutiao has more than 200 million users.   © Reuters

CHONGQING -- The Chinese government on Monday ordered four smartphone news apps to temporarily stop allowing new downloads.

The move has been interpreted as an attempt to tighten control over free speech in the online arena as apps become increasingly popular and diverse.

The four services are Jinri Toutiao, which has more than 200 million active users, Phoenix News, NetEase News and Tiantian News.

Tiantian News was banned for three weeks, the longest of the four, after having allegedly made more than 10,000 improper posts. About 5,000 accounts were shut down.

The other three apps were said to have carried content such as pornography. Before issuing the ban, the State Administration of Radio and Television accused Jinri Toutiao of "broadcasting content that disturbs social morality," in a statement on its official website. It demanded the app to delete content that was "rude, violent, sexual, or harmful."

The New York Times app was deleted from Apple's app store in late 2016, while question-and-answer site Zhihu, where users post on topics such as politics, was banned for a week in March.

Akihide Anzai and Akane Okutsu contributed to this story

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more