China banning Tripadvisor, dozens of other apps in crackdown on pornography, improper content
China announced on Tuesday that it has banned Tripadvisor and more than a hundred other mobile phone apps in what it says is a crackdown on pornography and other improper content.
According to The Associated Press, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) ordered the removal of 105 apps, although it gave no details on any allegations of wrongdoing.
In a statement released Tuesday, the agency said the mass app removal this week is just the first in a planned, wide-ranging “clean-up” of online content that started last month, CNN reported.
CNN noted that most of the platforms included in the ban were Chinese firms.
Authorities said the campaign is in line with several Chinese laws and is meant to remove illegal content, including obscenity, pornography, prostitution, violence, fraud or gambling.
“The Cyberspace Administration of China will continue to … strengthen the supervision and inspection of mobile apps’ information services, promptly clean up and dispose of illegal mobile applications and application stores, and strive to create a clear cyberspace,” the agency said in a statement, according to CNN.
However, CNN reported that Tripadvisor’s website was still accessible in China as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Asia Pacific wing of Tripadvisor said it was “not in a position to comment at this time,” when contacted by The Hill.
Tripadvisor China, a joint venture between Tripadvisor and its Chinese partner Trip.com, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the AP, Tripadvisor owns a 40 percent stake in Tripadvisor China, with Trip.com owning the other 60 percent.
Following the announced removal of the app in China, Nasdaq-listed Tripadvisor’s stock price was down 1.68 percent to $29.59 at the market’s close in the U.S. on Tuesday, the AP noted.
China’s ruling Communist Party has been widely known to implement tight controls over online platforms, imposing strict limits over what content is available to the nation’s citizens.
In October, the CAC announced that mobile browsers in China would have until Nov. 9 to complete a “self examination” to address issues including the spread of misinformation, sensational headlines and content that conflicts with the values of socialism.
Chinese companies including Huawei and the social media platform TikTok, which is owned by Chinese group ByteDance, have come under increased pressure by the Trump administration and congressional lawmakers due to concerns over data security and privacy.
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