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China tightens grip on Big Tech's use of algorithms

Consumers will have right to control or turn off how they are tracked, targeted

China's new regulations giving consumers control over algorithms used to target them are part of a government campaign to rein in the internet sector’s mushrooming power. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

Chinese regulators are taking away a cornerstone for the business models of internet giants including Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance -- the use of algorithms to determine what users read, watch and purchase online.

Under new rules taking effect March 1, consumers will have the right to switch off algorithmic recommendations on apps and see or delete the keywords the algorithms use to target them.

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