Grip tightened on instant messaging
China's government tightened control over popular instant-messaging services yesterday after telling South Korea access to some foreign services was blocked because they were used to exchange terrorism-related information.
The government announced that only established media companies will be allowed to release political and social news. That would curtail a growing trend in use of instant-messaging services by journalists and scholars to distribute independent news reports and commentary.
The ruling Communist Party has repeatedly tightened controls over microblogs and other social media that give Chinese a rare platform to express themselves to a large audience in a country where all traditional media are state-owned.
Meanwhile, China has informed South Korea it has blocked access to Kakao Talk and Line, two mobile messaging services, which it said were used to exchange terrorism-related information, according to a South Korean official who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.
Beijing is on edge about security following a series of deadly attacks communist authorities blame on Islamic radicals it says want independence for the country's northwestern region of Xinjiang.