Briefing: Chinese regulator suspend ifeng.com’s services over “illegal” information

1 min read

China shuts down American-listed news site Phoenix New Media over ‘illegal’ coverage – SCMP

What happened: The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has ordered Phoenix New Media’s news portal ifeng.com to shut down its technology channel for a month and suspend its general news, financial news, mobile website, and app for two weeks. The internet regulator said the site had “disseminated illegal and harmful information, distorted news headlines and shared news information in violation of rules”, and ordered it to undergo “thorough and in-depth rectification”.

Why it’s important: Online content providers, including news services and entertainment platforms, have faced increasing scrutiny from government departments. Short video platforms have been targeted for hosting “inappropriate” content in an effort to increase government controls over cultural content. ifeng.com’s suspension comes a week after CAC chief Zhuang Rongwen promised to further extend control over online spaces, saying “positive energy” should be promoted, while “negative elements” should be suppressed.