Sweeping crackdown strikes again: authorities punish 19 video apps for spreading vulgar content

A total of 19 Chinese video apps, including the popular Neihan Fulishe (内涵福利社), Bilibili (哔哩哔哩) and Miaopai (秒拍), were slapped with penalties amid yet another crackdown campaign launched by the Chinese authorities, according to state news agency Xinhua (in Chinese).

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), joined by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the Ministry of Public Security and three other government agencies, have recently launched a crackdown campaign against the spread of low-quality and pirated content—something that the industry has been grappling with for a while now.

According to the CAC, the apps were responsible for spreading “vulgar, violent, pornographic or pirated content, and promoting distorted information.”

Of the 19 video apps that were found in violation with the law, 3 were ordered to permanently shut down, 12 were forced be removed from app stores for an overhaul, and 4 apps were warned for violations.

After being removed from the Android app store yesterday, the Nasdaq-listed Bilibilli responded today saying that it is “in deep self-review and reflection.” The company also announced that it will double its content screening staff and will build a new content supervision center in Wuhan.

Miaopai, a popular Chinese video sharing and live streaming platform, also issued an official response (in Chinese) saying that it will conduct a thorough clean-up, and implement a blacklist mechanism that permanently blocks the accounts in violation.

Content purge isn’t something unfamiliar to the Chinese social media and the entertainment industry. Last Demeber, Jinri Toutiao was criticized by authorities for spreading vulgar and low-quality content and was shut down for 24 hours. In April, China again intensified its clean-up efforts against platforms that failed to monitor content that disrupts “core socialist values” in check.