China muzzles ‘Cannon Ren’ for questioning curbs on media

(From AFP)

Chinese authorities on Sunday shut down the social media accounts of a tycoon  after he criticized the ruling Communist Party’s tightening grip on the media.

Ren Zhiqiang

Ren Zhiqiang

The move by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) against Ren Zhiqiang came just over a week after President Xi Jinping visited state media.

Ren, known among his more than 30 million online fans as ‘Cannon Ren’, lambasted state media outlets for hosting Xi who urged journalists to focus on “positive news” and to “love the party, protect the party and act in the interest of the party.”

The Internet regulator ordered the micro-blogging platforms of Sina and Tencent to shut down Ren’s accounts “for spreading illegal information”, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“Cyberspace is not a lawless field and it should not be used to spread illegal information by anyone,” said CAC spokesperson Jiang Jun.

Ren’s accounts were closed after netizens reported he had regularly posted illegal information, “resulting in a vile influence”, according to Jiang.

The spokesperson, vowing intensified efforts to monitor online content, told celebrity micro-bloggers to “shoulder their due social responsibilities, and promote ‘positive energy’ actively”. Read More



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