Beijing cranked up restrictions on foreign news distributed in China Sunday and moved to bar international financial-information companies from selling directly to Chinese customers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The new restrictions make it illegal to distribute articles that "undermine China's national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity" and that "endanger China's national security, reputation and interests." They also force financial-information companies such as Reuters Group PLC and Bloomberg LP to sell their products through the China Economic Information Service, an agency appointed by Xinhua. They currently sell directly to Chinese banks, brokerage firms and corporations. The new rules appear to nullify a decade-old agreement reached between US and Chinese officials that gave foreign financial-information companies direct access to the China market, the newspaper reported. An official from the Foreign Information Administration Center said the new rules were aimed at protecting the intellectual property rights of foreign financial information vendors, maintaining that because such information is being pirated around the country, creating a single channel to distribute it will bring order to the market.The rules, which take effect immediately, are part of a broader crackdown on the media under the administration of President Hu Jintao.
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