China fines tech giants for content exploiting children

China fines tech giants for content exploiting children
In this July 31, 2020, photo, people watch a performance presented by Chinese technology firm Kuaishou at the ChinaJoy expo in Shanghai. China's internet watchdog has fined technology platforms operated by e-commerce company Alibaba and gaming firm Tencent for spreading sexually suggestive content involving children, as regulators sought to clean up the internet of content harmful to minors. Credit: Chinatopix via AP

China's internet watchdog said Wednesday it has fined platforms operated by e-commerce company Alibaba and gaming firm Tencent for spreading sexually suggestive content involving children, as regulators seek to clean up content harmful to minors.

Platforms including Alibaba's e-commerce marketplace Taobao, Tencent's QQ messaging service, live-streaming site Kuaishou, microblogging Sina Weibo and and e-commerce service Xiaohongshu were fined for distributing sexually suggestive stickers or short videos of children, it said.

The companies were ordered to rectify the issue and ban accounts that use such content to attract more traffic.

The crackdown on inappropriate content involving minors comes as the government ramps up scrutiny of technology platforms in the country. Regulators are investigating Chinese over a range of issues, including anti-competitive practices and data practices.

"With regards to the infringement of the legal rights and interests of minors, a 'zero tolerance' attitude will be adopted and enforced to clean up the online problems that endanger the physical and mental health of minors," the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement.

In recent months, some Chinese media outlets have called out sexually suggestive photos of children used by certain stores on platforms such as Taobao and Xiaohongshu to sell clothing, as well as suggestive stickers of children on messaging apps.

  • China fines tech giants for content exploiting children
    In this Dec. 24, 2020, photo, the logo for Alibaba Group is seen at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province. China's internet watchdog has fined technology platforms operated by e-commerce company Alibaba and gaming firm Tencent for spreading sexually suggestive content involving children, as regulators sought to clean up the internet of content harmful to minors. Credit: Chinatopix via AP, File
  • China fines tech giants for content exploiting children
    In this Sept. 5, 2020 photo, people look at a display from Chinese technology firm Tencent at the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing. China's internet watchdog has fined technology platforms operated by e-commerce company Alibaba and gaming firm Tencent for spreading sexually suggestive content involving children, as regulators sought to clean up the internet of content harmful to minors. Credit: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

The internet regulator said its campaign includes the targeting of minors on live-streaming platforms, pornographic and in courses on online education platforms and animations with violent or inappropriate horror themes.

Earlier this month, the regulator said it would probe ride-hailing Didi Global Inc. over data security concerns. Alibaba in April was also fined $2.8 billion following an anti-monopoly probe, and food delivery giant Meituan is being investigated over alleged antitrust practices.

The also recently announced that it would require companies looking to list abroad to seek its approval first.

Globally, technology companies and governments are paying more attention to how to prevent the exploitation and abuse of children online.

Last year, a coalition of technology companies including Facebook, Google and Microsoft backed a plan to eradicate online child abuse.

The U.K. last month also issued a new guidance to companies on how they can protect from sexual exploitation and abuse on their platforms.


Explore further

China's Alibaba, Tencent unit fined under anti-monopoly law

© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation: China fines tech giants for content exploiting children (2021, July 21) retrieved 4 December 2021 from https://techxplore.com/news/2021-07-china-fines-tech-giants-content.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors