Chinese Social Media Giant Weibo Fined after Over 100 Apps Removed for Breach of Data Rule

China's regulator last week announced to remove 106 apps including Douban from app stores, which was the second punishment for the social media platform in ten days.

BEIJING, December 14 (TMTPOST)— One of China’s largest social media platforms was punished for illegal data practices  right after the regulator removed more than one hundred mobile applications due to breach of relevant user data rules, signaling Beijing continued to increase regulation on the internet.

Souce: Visual China

During a recent meet with Weibo’s leaders, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) accused the Twitter-like social media of publishing or transferring information which was banned by the law and regulations in several cases, and ordered it to immediately make rectification and hold the person in charge accountable, according to a statement on Tuesday. The head of CAC stressed online platforms shall improve the information security management system involving censorship, inspection for public information, emergency procedures, and shall not offer platform to spread illegal information. The Beijing municipal arm of CAC also imposed Beijing Weimeng Chuangke Network Technology Co., Ltd, Weibo’s operator, a fine of RMB3 million (US$470,000) after the regulatory meet. And the statement noted the regulator has made 44 penalties to Weibo with a total fine of RMB14.3 million from January to November. Weibo later that day said it sincerely listened to criticisms and would set up the action group to follow the rectification requirements so as to improve management of its ecosystem.

Last Thursday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced to remove the Douban and other 105 applications from app stores in China as 5 of them had not carried out rectifications in accordance with the agency’s requirements and 101 of them had not completed the rectification. MIIT pointed out all of these apps were found to have improper personal data collection or other practices that violated regulations through its scrutiny in early November. This is Douban’s second punishment in ten days. The popular social media platform was fined RMB1.5 million (US$235,000) over unlawful release of information early this month.

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