The State Administration of Radio and Television (SAPPRFT) has ordered the permanent closure of Jinri Toutiao’s jokes app Neihan Duanzi (内涵段子 “implied jokes”) for vulgar content, the day after it ordered the removal of the main Jinri Toutiao news app from China’s app stores for three weeks.

The announcement orders the removal of the Neihan Duanzi app from users devices and from the company’s official accounts. The regulator hopes Toutiao will see this as an example when it looks at reforming other parts of its offering, according to the notice.

Video content on the Neihan Duanzi app.

Neihan Duanzi predates the Jinri Toutiao app, our sister publication reports (in Chinese), and offers a collection of short silly videos, photos, jokes, and memes.

A short statement was released by SAPPRFT via its website and official WeChat account:

“In its investigation into the website rectification work of “Jinri Toutiao”, the State Administration of Radio and Television found prominent issues of irregular, improper [content] in the user software [app] and public accounts of the company’s “Neihan Duanzi”, which triggered strong resentment among internet users. In order to maintain the order of the transmission of audiovisual programs online and a clean audiovisual environment in the internet space, according to relevant laws and regulations, the bureau ordered “Jinri Toutiao” to permanently shut down the user software and public accounts for “Neihan Duanzi” and asked the company to infer the meaning of this move and comprehensively clean up its audiovisual products.”

The app was still available to download from app stores at the time of publishing.

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in... More by Frank Hersey

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