Briefing: China clamps down on two education apps for ‘inappropriate’ content

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Chinese authorities shut education app and issue fines as part of ongoing ‘clean up’ of vulgar and pornographic content – SCMP

What happened: Chinese authorities have clamped down on two education apps that contain “inappropriate” content. The Office of Combating Pornography and Illegal Publications ordered HDzuoye, an afterschool tutoring platform, to close its mobile app and pay a fine of RMB 50,000 (around $7,300) for redirecting student users to online games. Similarly, Namibox has received a RMB 80,000 fine and was ordered to remove problematic parts of its app, which allegedly contains “immoral” and “unethical” content.

Why it’s important: In line with a national cyberspace cleanup campaign initiated by the central government, Chinese authorities at various levels are pushing to remove what they consider to be inappropriate from the internet, including some mobile games and “vulgar” or immoral content. Last week, the Chinese Ministry of Education banned 28 “harmful” educational apps in schools. The tighter monitoring of online education services comes as new technologies such as live-streaming and online classes are playing a more significant role in China’s education system.