China Clamps Down on Celebrity News Sites

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Chinese President Xi Jinping

As part of Chinese president Xi Jinping's ongoing tightening of control over internet media, 60 showbiz social media accounts were shut down, many with millions of followers.

China's top cyberspace regulator has instituted a sweeping clampdown on online media devoted to show business and celebrity gossip, a wildly popular corner of the mainland Chinese internet.

Authorities ordered internet companies to close 60 tabloid social media accounts, many with millions of followers, according to a post on the Beijing Cyberspace Administration's own social media account. The post explained that China's biggest internet companies, such as Tencent and Baidu, had been summoned to a meeting where they were told to take steps to rein in user accounts devoted to celebrity news.

"Websites must ... adopt effective measures to keep in check the problems of the embellishment of private sex scandals of celebrities, the hyping of ostentatious celebrity spending and entertainment, and catering to the poor taste of the public," the body said.

The clamp down is part of Chinese president Xi Jinping's ongoing assertion of the Chinese Communist Party's censorship and control over the country's private internet media sector.

In May, the Cyberspace Administration of China released a new set of regulations that tightened restrictions on online news content and required all services to be directed by party-approved editorial staff.

The Cyberspace Administration's post added that internet operators must also "actively propagate core socialist values, and create an ever-more healthy environment for the mainstream public opinion."

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