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China's Weibo suspends ‘hot’ lists after central reprimand

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Sina Weibo, one of China's most popular social media platforms, has accepted criticism issued by Beijing's internet watchdog and vowed to become more responsible, China's Xinhua news agency reported, quoting a Monday article in China Daily.

The Beijing office of the Cyberspace Administration on Saturday summoned Weibo's boss for a talk concerning the company's failure to censor illegal information posted by its users, and issued a week-long ban on some of the company's operations.

On Saturday, the company said it has shut down the lists for "most searched hashtags" and "hottest topics," a question-and-answer service as well as a section that focuses on celebrity relationships until 9pm on Feb 3.

The company also released a list of topics that will be banned from its "hot" lists for at least three months, according to China Daily.

"Content of wrong public opinion orientation, obscenity, low taste, and ethnic discrimination continued to spread on Sina Weibo," said a statement issued by the office. "The problems were serious."

Holding talks with the company is only a temporary solution, while the key is building a long-term mechanism to improve cyberspace by law, said Zhu Wei, deputy director of the China University of Political Science and Law's Communication Law Centre.

Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, is said to have had about 361 million monthly active users as of June last year.

- Bernama

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