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China tightens control on news portals, orders round the clock monitoring

A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in Singapore in this January 2, 2014 photo illustration. Picture taken January 2, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su (SINGAPORE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS TELECOMS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in Singapore in this January 2, 2014 photo illustration. Picture taken January 2, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su (SINGAPORE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS TELECOMS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Hong Kong: With stringent internet censorship, China now has tightened control over online news websites after authorities ordered editors-in-chief to take full responsibility for any wrong­doings in content and implementing round the clock monitoring on their respective sites.

Beijing’s state media Xinhua has reported that the powerful Cyberspace Administration of China has listed several new demands on mainland websites regarding management responsibility during a meeting of over 60 representatives from central and regional news portals, major commercial websites and professional associations, as well as experts and scholars.

According to the new demand, editors-in-chief of the portals will be held responsible for the direction of content, creation, production and the dissemination of news.

For that matter, all websites must now ensure that there are staff check developments round the clock.

The move comes within a month after Wang Yongzhi, editor-in-chief of the online news department of Tencent, the Shenzhen-based internet giant was sacked after one of its reports mistakenly ran a headline saying that Chinese President Xi Jinping had given “an important speech in a furious manner”, rather than “delivered an important speech”.

The error was noticed during the Communist Party’s 95th anniversary on July 1 and regarded as a typo rather than a deliberate act by someone.

Following the meeting, the Participants who oversee Tencent Wexin, Sina Weibo, Baidu.com, Sohu.com and the website of People’s Daily have pledged to stick to relevant laws and regulations.

On June 29, Xu Lin, considered a close ally of Xi, was named the new director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, replacing the founding director Lu Wei.

Xu had previously worked with Xi as a standing committee member of Shanghai’s party.

Reports suggest that the reshuffle came after a spate of errors about politically sensitive topics made their way online. (ANI)

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