Chinese authorities launched a new campaign to clean up its internet, amid a fresh wave of censorship by Beijing blocking more foreign media websites and shutting down domestic accounts on social media.
The official Xinhua news agency said the campaign will run until the end of the year.
What has been described as a “rectification” campaign will punish and expose websites for “illegal and criminal actions,” failing to “fulfil their obligation” to take safety measures or for the theft of personal information, it added.
The campaign follows a recent series of shutdowns and blockages of certain websites and social media accounts.
Several foreign media beyond Beijing’s control, such as the Washington Post and The Guardian, have not been accessible online since last weekend, adding to a list of blocked sites that includes Reuters.
Social media accounts ranging from those publishing politically sensitive material to financial news have also been shut recently.
Authorities said in November they shut 9,800 accounts of news providers deemed to be posting sensational, vulgar or politically harmful content.