(Yicai Global) April 10 -- Chinese regulators have ordered the temporary removal of four major news apps from the country's mobile app stores, including Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.’s vastly popular content aggregator Toutiao, amid a crackdown on vulgar content.
The country’s mobile users will be unable to download Toutiao, which boasts around 120 million daily users, from Apple or Android app stores for three weeks effective today, tech news site IT Home reported.
Authorities handed out app store suspensions lasting two weeks and one week, respectively, for Phoenix New Media Ltd.’s Ifeng News and Netease Inc.’s eponymous app, while Kuaibao, operated by tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. will remain unavailable for download for three days.
The suspensions follow renewed efforts by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television to clean up the country’s media platforms. The regulator warned Toutiao along with Kuaishou, a short video platform run by Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co., on April 3, for hosting vulgar, violent, and pornographic content. Kuaishou responded promptly with the removal of 51,000 videos and the addition of 3,000 employees to police content.
Tencent, ByteDance Technology and Netease are yet to comment on the suspensions, while Phoenix New Media said in a statement that it would “follow the instructions of authorities and monitor content more carefully.”