WeChat, Weibo and Baidu Tieba investigated for violation of cyber security laws

WeChat, Weibo and Baidu Tieba investigated for violation of cyber security laws

The investigation includes China's most popular social media platforms, Tencent Holdings Ltd's WeChat and Weibo Corp, as well as Baidu Inc's forum site Tieba, CNBC reported on Friday.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said it's investigating Tencent, the owner of the country's biggest messaging app; Baidu, the dominant Chinese search engine; and Weibo, the leading Twitter-like microblog service.

The administration has received reports from users that illegal content, including pornographic, violent, terrorist and fake information, was being spread on the three platforms, according to a statement published on CAC website.

The timeline of the case has not yet been revealed but any subsequent progress will be announced by the CAC's branches in Beijing and Guangdong, where the three companies are based.

Baidu said it felt "deep regret" over the content and will "actively cooperate with government departments to rectify the issue and increase the intensity of auditing".

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Tencent, in which Napers owns 33%, fell nearly 5%. Investors will now wait to see how shares of the firms listed in the USA will react.

Читайте также: Iran bans two players after facing Israeli side

Last month, cyber authorities called on the same firms to carry out immediate "cleaning and rectification" at a meeting with their representatives, where the authorities cited specific examples of illicit content, including rumours about party officials and misrepresenting Chinese military history.

Prior to that meeting, Weibo was requested to close part of its video site due to violations, wiping away over $1.3 billion in stock between Weibo and its parent Sina Corp.

WeChat and Weibo have about 940 million and 350 million monthly active users, respectively.

Regulators over the past few months have taken unprecedented and severe moves to eliminate content and media on a number of different platforms.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are not accessible in China, which has recently also banned the image of Winnie the Pooh - reportedly because the bear was being compared to President Xi Jinping.

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