China’s new digital crackdown will ensure a “Marxist Internet” and fight online bullying and fake news, according to new guidelines.
The draconian new rules come amid a crackdown on China’s biggest celebrities that raised fears of a second Cultural Revolution – a violent purge of political opponents in the 1960s and 1970s.
The sites should promote socialist values and promote education about the ruling Communist Party and its achievements, according to guidelines issued by the State Council, state agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
Cyberspace must promote good moral values and encourage young people to use the Internet “correctly” and “safely”, while improving self-discipline.
It is the latest step in a wider cultural war launched by President Xi Jinping against high-income celebrities, movie stars and owners of big tech seen as incompatible with the Communist regime.
Regulators also banned ‘sissy men’ from airs in second installment of Communist Party efforts last week. root out what he sees as Western influences and focus the masses on collectivism and industry as the economy struggles to cope with strict restrictions linked to viruses.
It is the latest step in a wider cultural war launched by President Xi Jinping on the internet, movie stars and big tech owners, as the Communist Party seeks to eliminate what it sees as Western influences. and to concentrate the masses on collectivism and industry.
China’s new digital crackdown will ensure a ‘Marxist internet’, fight online bullying and fake news, according to new guidelines
A clear stand must be taken against “historical nihilism”, defined as any attempt to use the past to question the leading role of the party or the “inevitability” of Chinese socialism, and good moral values must be promoted, for example by publicizing cases involving model workers, he said.
Standards of behavior in cyberspace should also be enhanced by cultivating ethics and rules consistent with the core values of socialism, he said, adding that efforts should be made to help young people use the Internet “properly” and “safely”.
Internet platforms will be needed to improve self-discipline and the governance of content platforms such as live streaming will be strengthened, with the public encouraged to participate in oversight.
The formulation, revision and implementation of laws such as those relating to cybercrime and the protection of minors would also be accelerated, Xinhua reported.
The tough new regulations come after years of efforts by Chinese regulators to tighten control over society with greater oversight of a range of industries from technology to education and entertainment.
President Xi Jinping has also implemented a series of social changes, including banning children from playing video games, banning private lessons and attacking several of the country’s biggest celebrities.
Last month, the party attacked some of the country’s most prominent celebrities over “scandals,” including billionaire movie star Zhao Wei who was wiped off the internet.
Actress Zheng Shuang was fined $ 46 million for tax evasion, while Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu, who was arrested on suspicion of rape in August, has been completely censored on the internet.
Earlier this year, Jack Ma, the billionaire owner of Alibaba (“Chinese Amazon”), disappeared for three months after criticizing the country’s financial regulations.
China views celebrity culture and the pursuit of wealth as a dangerous Western import that threatens communism because it promotes individualism rather than collectivism.
Actress Zhao Wei, who is the face of Fendi in China, was wiped off the internet last month, while Zheng Shuang was fined $ 46 million for tax evasion.
A list of “celebrities who misbehave” allegedly on the Communist Party’s blacklist was posted on social media last month. Zhao and Zheng were both on the list, along with Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu (pictured), who was arrested on suspicion of rape in August.
Jack Ma disappeared for three months and was the subject of investigations that wiped out more than $ 100 billion in the value of his empire after criticizing China’s financial sector
Among the new targets are media portrayals of men, which experts say is a cause for anxiety among the conservative and older generation of party leaders.
In recent weeks, regulators have ordered broadcasters to resist “anomalous aesthetics” such as male “shoots”, calling for more masculine representations in programming.
The goal is driven by a perception among sections of the political class that “effeminate men are physically weak and emotionally fragile,” said University of Hong Kong associate professor Geng Song, inferring that men “women” cannot defend the nation.
Song added that heterosexuality is viewed by the political establishment as the only gender norm, resulting in “anxiety” over more ambiguous representations of sexuality and identity.
The latest talks add to the tightening of tech giants’ oversight over the world’s largest gaming market, as Beijing rolls out rules to eliminate culture excesses among Chinese youth – from deterioration of eyesight to addiction to line.
In addition to breaking away from the goal of profit and gaining fans, game companies have also been urged to “change the rules of the game and addictive designs,” Xinhua said.
Already, gaming companies have tightened restrictions on minors, drastically reducing children’s online play time to just three hours per week during school time.
Heterosexuality is viewed by the political establishment as the only gender norm, leading to “anxiety” over more ambiguous representations of sexuality and identity.
New targets include media portrayals of men, and regulators have ordered broadcasters to resist ‘abnormal aesthetics’ such as male ‘shoots’, calling for more masculine portrayals in programming.
Tech giant Tencent rolled out a facial recognition “midnight patrol” feature in July to stamp out children pretending to be adults to bypass a curfew.
Shares of game companies were crushed on Thursday, with Tencent plunging nearly six percent and NetEase losing nearly seven percent.
Other tech giants that have recently been caught in China’s sights have also been hammered, with e-commerce titans Alibaba and JD.com each losing around 4%.
The tech sector accounts for nearly a third of China’s economy, but government crackdown has wiped around $ 1.2 trillion from the market.
It comes as China’s economy slowed in August as the country struggles to cope with strict Covid-19 restrictions to stop the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
Overwatch online shooting game released by Blizzard Entertainment is one of the biggest games in China. Tencent owns 5% of Blizzard’s capital
Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, is the owner of Tencent and one of the most recognizable faces in the Big Tech industry in China. His company is the most valuable in China (market cap of $ 625 billion) and is the largest seller of video games in the world.
In addition to its crackdown on the tech world and celebrities, Beijing has banned private lessons and ordered public schools to improve.
Last month, Xi pledged to stabilize housing prices and make housing affordable for young people.
These policies are part of the president’s goal of “common prosperity” through which a more socialist country can be achieved.
Beijing’s radical shift – poised even to wipe billions from its own economy – raised fears of yet another Cultural Revolution, a decade of political turmoil from 1966 to 1976 under Chairman Mao.
The tyrant has launched a vicious campaign to cement his power, purging any capitalist or “bourgeois” element from the party, schools, factories and government institutions.
It is not known exactly how many people were killed during the purge, with estimates ranging from 400,000 to 20 million.
Cultural revolution in China: a halt to debate, dissent and freedom of expression that killed up to 20 million from 1966 to 1976
For ten years, Chairman Mao’s supporters burned books, destroyed statues and murdered millions of followers of the “Four Olds” – old ideas, culture, customs and habits
The Cultural Revolution was a violent political purge that occurred in China from 1966 to 1976.
Meanwhile, Mao Zedong, chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, attempted to purge the remnants of capitalism by ending debate, dissent and free speech.
He envisioned a “communist utopia” with massive redistribution of wealth – but what happened was a 10-year campaign that caused widespread suffering and the destruction of much of China’s ancient cultural norms.
Mao pushed for the formation of “Red Guards” – groups of student activists at universities and high school students who were placed in paramilitary units.
The young recruits were fed propaganda and were relatively easy to influence due to their young age. Their goal was to destroy the symbols of China’s pre-Communist past – known as “The Old Four”: old ideas, old culture, old habits, and old customs.
Large groups of so-called Red Guards targeted Mao’s political enemies for abuse and public humiliation and destroyed historic sites and relics.
Pictured: Red Guards reading Mao’s Little Red Book in Beijing, 1966
The Red Guards frequently broke into homes and destroyed paintings and books. They were also required to report dissidents and were even allowed to inflict bodily harm on them.
Universities were their primary targets, with the Red Guards turning into barking mobs who would publicly try to destroy those with differing views.
The Cultural Revolution killed between 500,000 and 20 million people in a single decade.
Red Guard member cuts governor’s hair during Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China in 1966