For China, all content has to undergo inspection, a barrier that Tencent skipped
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has suspended multinational Tencent Holdings for updating and launching new apps without government permission as part of a “temporary administrative guidance”. According to the report, MIIT has ordered app shops and platforms to implement the order against Tencent’s apps. The information comes amid a push by the Chinese government to increase its control over the important digital industry, arguing that its companies had become too big and powerful.
Groups such as Tencent and Alibaba have been subject to sanctions by the authorities for violations related to free competition or the use of personal data. The group owns, among others, the popular WeChat app, a mix of messaging, online payment and social networking that almost all smartphone users in China have on their handset.
Tencent said in a statement that it is cooperating with the authorities in the inspection of its apps, so it confirms the information. The ban affects more than 70 Tencent apps and more than 100 games published by Tencent Mobile Games.
Tencent said its apps were still functional and available for download. “We continuously work to improve user protection features in our apps, and we also regularly cooperate with relevant government agencies to ensure regulatory compliance. Our apps remain functional and available for download,” Tencent said in its statement.
Chinese regulators have mounted a wide-ranging crackdown on the country’s technology companies over the past year, seeking to dismantle some of the industry’s long-standing practices after accusing them of monopolistic behaviour and infringing users’ rights.