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At a recent cyber conference in China, the CEO of a popular microblogging service said his company is developing ways to monitor blog posts. The move has led to widespread criticism. It comes as Chinese authorities have indicated that they will take a tougher stance on censoring social media.
At the recent Tech Crash Disrupt conference, Pony Ma, the CEO of Tencent—the company behind the QQ microblogging service—stated that his company is developing a way to monitor users' blog posts. Ma says this was at the request of the Chinese regime and the Chinese public. It's designed to stop the spreading of false information.
Yet many analysts believe this is simply to protect the Chinese regime.
[Sun Wenguang, Former Shandong University Professor]:
"This so called 'false information' is precisely the scandalous actions of the Communist authorities that people expose (on microblogs). They say it is false to protect the Communist authorities. In fact those who need to start rumors or who need to create false information are certain officials. The public really wants to know the truth."
Former media professional and blogger himself Zhao Lianhai says the move will harm Tencent's reputation.
[Zhao Lianhai, Former Media Professional, Tencent Blogger]:
"Until now people have mostly approved of Tencent's blogging service, and think that Tencent, as a company, upholds certain principles. But, if Pony Ma meticulously carries out this surveillance of the microblogging service, we would have no choice but to take another view of the company and Ma himself."