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China fines social media firm Douban for 'unlawful' release of information - Metro US

China fines social media firm Douban for ‘unlawful’ release of information

Illustration picture of Douban

BEIJING (Reuters) -The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Thursday it had summoned and fined social media company Douban over unlawful release of information, as Beijing steps up efforts to control and “clean up” the internet space.

The internet watchdog said in a statement that Beijing authorities fined Douban’s operating entity 1.5 million yuan ($235,000) and regulators demanded “immediate rectifications” from the company.

Douban, a online platform where tens of millions of Chinese users review films and discuss various social topics, said its reply function had been suspended on Thursday and would be resumed on Dec. 17.

The CAC did not give other details on the reason for the fine.

But it added that it would “seriously handle” relevant representatives of Douban and said the company had been fined a total of 9 million yuan in November.

Certain functions of apps in China have been suspended over “unlawful” or “lowbrow” content, and apps have been temporarily removed from apps stores for similar reasons in the past.

($1 = 6.3736 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh; editing by John Stonestreet and Kim Coghill)

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