The Chinese government might soon own a 1% stake in major tech companies such as Tencent Holdings Ltd., Baidu Inc., and NetEase Inc., according to anonymous sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.

The 1% stake is part of a proposal around content distribution and censorship, which is still being discussed internally. According to Bloomberg, the proposal gives government representatives board seats and stakes of at least 1 percent at major internet portals in exchange for news licenses. Under the proposal, these news licenses would be mandatory for all providers and distributors of “current affairs news,” which includes politics, economics, military, foreign affairs, and social issues.

Chinese tech companies, such as Tencent and Baidu, already comply with government regulations around content censorship, filtering out sensitive keywords, rumors, and what the government deems ‘gossip’. However, this new proposal is an aggressive reassertion of government oversight. If implemented, government officials would have even tighter control over online content, proactively blocking and monitoring content before it’s published.

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Eva Xiao

Eva Xiao is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. Contact her at eva.xiao@technode.com or evawxiao (wechat & twitter).