In an attempt to further tighten grip on internet usage in China, the Cyberspace Administration of China published a "List of Sources of Internet News Information".
According to vernacular media reports, the list contains 1358 news sources outlet. The list covers central news websites, central news units, industry media, local news websites, local news units, and government affairs dispatch platforms. It basically means that Chinese people should only read or repost news from these listed websites.
Such a list was published in 2016. And the report says that news units that no longer meet the requirements, have poor daily performance, and lack influence, have been removed from the list to effectively maintain the seriousness and credibility of the list. The report further says that compared with the 2016 version of the list, the new version of the list has five significant changes.
First, the number has been greatly expanded, the total numbers in the list is nearly four times the previous one.
Second, the field is diversified, and a number of theoretical websites and media, specialised sources are included in the new list. Financial and economic websites and media, military websites and media and a group of industry media related to economy, society and people's livelihood have wider coverage and more diverse content.
Third, it includes public accounts and applications in the list for the first time. Public accounts and applications are generally found on Chinese apps such as WeChat where official accounts of news outlets post news every day.
Fourth, country-level financial media centres have been also added to the list. Fifth, it has greatly expanded the government affairs release platform to provide a strong guarantee for publishing policies and an authoritative voice of all localities and departments.
The spokesperson of the Cyberspace Administration of China emphasised that from now on, when the Internet news information service reprint news information, they must follow the latest version of the "List of Sources of Internet News Information", and those who reprint beyond the scope of this list will be punished in the accordance with the laws and regulations.
In the next step, the National Cyberspace Administration of China will implement dynamic management throughout the entire process of the list of sources, with the method of "addition and removal". For those that meet the requirements, they will be added and included in a timely manner; for the source units that violate laws and regulations and have information security liability accidents, timely take measures such as freezing and removal.
The news report noted that regarding the compliance of internet content creation, General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed on positive energy, being manageable and used in a proper manner. It also states at prominent issues such as the "back door" for news, illegal self-collection of news and illegal resharing will be resolutely dealt with and will tighten the "master switch of information dissemination from the source.
Caixin, a privately held news company from Beijing is not included in the list. Caixin is a big name in China. Caixin Media President Hu Shuli on 2nd October posted a cryptic Weibo post which was thought to be aimed at Xi and was deleted after a while. It is also well known that Hu Suli is a close friend of Wang Qishan, the vice-president of China. (ANI)