Briefing: Regulators shut down 33,600 apps, target gaming and education

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国家网信办持续推进APP乱象专项整治 关停清理违法APP3万余个 – Cyberspace Administration of China

What happened: China’s cyberspace watchdog has shut down over 33,600 apps in a recent government crackdown that began in December. More than 2.3 million websites were taken down and an excess of 24.7 million pieces of information deemed lowbrow were deleted from social media platforms. The crackdown targeted gaming and education apps for content including gambling and indecent images as well as virus and spyware programs, said the national cyberspace administration.

Why its important: Beijing is ramping up efforts to “clean up” Chinese cyberspace, aiming to quash the misuse of information technologies for enabling gaming addictions, online pornography, and privacy infringement. So far, regulators have warned major cloud service providers, app stores, and social media platforms including WeChat, Weibo and Baidu’s online forum Tieba as part of broader “wipe-out” efforts. During its annual “315” gala for Consumer Rights Day on Mar. 15, China’s state-owned broadcaster CCTV aired a list highlighting illegal online activities, including robocall devices, information theft, and high-interest cash loans.