China's Cyberspace Administration put several social media platforms under investigation

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On August 11, while the Chinese public attention is focusing on the powerful natural disaster that struck Sichuan and Xinjiang, China's internet regulator - the Cyberspace Administration of China - announced that it's investigating China's top three internet giants for potentially violating the Cybersecurity Law.

The Cyberspace Administration's investigation is the latest step in China's push to secure the internet and maintain strict Communist Party control over content.

According to the announcement, Weibo, WeChat, and Tieba have users who "spread information of violence and terror, false rumors, pornography, and other information that jeopardizes national security, public safety, and social order".

There has also been a tightening of surveillance leading up to the Community Party's 19 National Congress later in 2017, when world attention will be on the world's second largest economy.

In response, Baidu reportedly expressed regret and said that it would be willing to actively cooperate with the government to settle the issue.

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Weibo and Tencent did not make a comment when one was requested by email.

Shares of Tencent fell 4% as of midday in Hong Kong. Investors will now wait to see how shares of the firms listed in the USA will react.

Weibo is China's version of Twitter, WeChat is an instant messaging mobile application while Baidu Tieba is a famous discussion forum online.

Prior to the meeting, Weibo was ordered to partially close its video site over violations, wiping out a combined $1.3 billion worth of stock between Weibo and parent firm Sina Corp.

Regulators over the past few months have taken unprecedented and severe moves to eliminate content and media on a number of different platforms. However, the Communist Party is on a campaign to crack down on sites not under its direct control: in May, the Office for Cyberspace Administration announced a new regulation that required all services at online news sites to be overseen by party-sanctioned editorial staff.

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