China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Xiao Yaqing, has given a rare interview in which he signalled the nation's crackdown on the internet and predatory companies will continue.
The interview, reported in state-controlled organ Xinhua, reveals that China's recent crackdowns on inappropriate content and companies with monopolistic tendencies have both bitten – hard.
The nation investigated 1.83 million apps to ensure they don't infringe users' rights. Some 4,200 illegal apps found to require "rectification".
On top of that, 73,000 websites were "investigated and dealt with in accordance with the law" according to machine translation of Xiao's speech. Roughly 51,900 companies with "bad lists" were also told to straighten up.
The July 2021 order requiring an end to use of pop-up ads that can't be closed appears to have worked: the minister said 69 per cent of such ads could not be closed in July, and that number is now down to "basically zero".
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The minister also talked up initiatives aimed at helping smaller tech companies. Xiao said those plans have created 4,700 "little giants" and helped 40,000 provincial-level companies focussed on innovation as part of China's plan to encourage development of "healthy" tech companies.
That's not all, folks. The minister noted that many of the actions mentioned above were conducted under six-month programs initiated in July 2021, so presumably there are plenty more websites and apps to be scanned, and possibly corrected, for infractions including politically incorrect karaoke, saying nasty things about pop stars, allowing kids to play games for too long, depicting men who dress in ways that diverge from gender stereotypes, or creating games that aren't historically accurate. ®