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Beijing twirls ban-hammer at 84 more apps it says need to stop slurping excess data

Online lending apps and more given fifteen days to ‘rectify’ behaviour

China’s Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission has named 84 apps it says breach local privacy laws and given their developers 15 days to “rectify” their code.

The Commission has posted two lists of apps it says need fixing, fast.

The first names 36 apps that breach user security by gathering and/or sharing more data than they need or doing so without users’ consent. Top of the list is web giant Tencent’s “mobile phone manager”, accused of harvesting and sharing more data than it needs. Most of the other apps on the first list share similar problems.

The second list, of 48 apps, covers online lending apps. Beijing is keen to crack down on such services at it fears peer-to-peer lending has the potential to damage China’s financial system.

Apps earned their place on the naughty list for excess info sharing, or for facilitating forbidden loans.

Developers have been told they have to fix their code, then front at the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission by May 25th to prove they’re compliant.

Failure means the Commission will throw the book at non-compliant developers.

China has decided digitising its economy and society are important steps towards building increased prosperity. But just as the nation used pervasive surveillance and the Great Firewall to keep undesirable content away from local users, it is now sending frequent signals sure that digital economy companies need to play by Beijing’s rules. Or else.

At least this time the developers were given 15 days to rectify their apps. Last week, 33 apps were deemed non-compliant and developers given just ten days to sort themselves out. ®

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