China’s cyber watchdog has handed down maximum penalties to several of the country’s top tech firms, including Tencent, Baidu and Weibo, for failing to properly censor online content. Notices posted by the Cyberspace Administration of China on Monday said the firms would receive the “maximum penalty” for failing to remove fake news and pornography as well as content that “incites ethic tension” and “threatens social order.” According to Reuters, it is the first time that the CAC has levied the maximum fines against tech firms under a new law introduced in June, as it seeks to tighten its grip on the internet. The notices did not detail the exact sum of the penalties, but under the rules cited in the notice individuals in charge of the platforms and others directly involved face a maximum penalty of 100,000 yuan ($15,110) each. The law also stipulates that offending platforms can have their licenses revoked and their services suspended for failing to comply.
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