(Yicai Global) April 11 -- China’s media regulator has ordered Beijing Bytedance Technology Co., the firm behind the nation’s most popular news aggregator Toutiao, to permanently cut one of its online platforms amid a broader crackdown against vulgar content online.
The State Administration of Radio and Television told the firm to terminate Neihan Shequ, an online community app for sharing jokes and funny images or videos, and to clean up similar products, the regulator said yesterday. It believes Neihan Shequ users published vulgar and improper content which was strongly resented by internet users.
On April 9 and 10, Apple Inc.’s Chinese App Store and Android stores across the country banned downloads of Bytedance’s flagship app, Toutiao, which has 120 million daily active users. Insiders said the suspension would last three weeks.
The move comes amid a much wider foray against inappropriate content being posted online. Kuaishou, a short video platform run by Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co., took down 51,000 videos, banned 11,000 users and vowed to take on more content review staff after a warning from the regulator last week.
The regulator warned Bytedance about its content as early as April 2017, when it suspected Neihan Shequ had been hosting pornographic content. It struck again on April 4 this year, ordering the company to immediately remove any of its platforms that contained vulgar, violent or pornographic content and to carry out a self-inspection.