China Encourages Local Internet Enterprises to Expand into HK and Macau

China Encourages Local Internet Enterprises to Expand into HK and Macau
Photo Credit: Corbis/達志影像

What you need to know

China flexes its muscles over online media while urging Chinese Internet companies to expand into Hong Kong and Macau.

The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China on July 27 held a press conference to respond to the government’s recent request for many Chinese online media, including Sohu and Sina, to reform their websites.

Zhuang Rongwen (莊榮文), deputy director of the State Internet Information Office, says the office has recently been scrutinizing certain commercial websites and found they have not been following regulations. The sites have therefore been asked to make changes according to the law.

Additionally, the deputy director mentioned China’s scientific and technological development plans to support the informatization of the information sectors in Hong Kong and Macau. To this end, Zhuang encouraged Chinese Internet firms to expand into Hong Kong and Macau and work with the local companies, while urging companies in the two areas to expand into China.

As to whether these commercial websites would be given the right to conduct their own reporting, the deputy director admitted that new regulations needed to be established to keep commercial websites in check. The annoucement occurs amid tightening regulations on social and web-based media across China and fears of a deepening erosion of freedoms of expression in Hong Kong.

Reporting by Olivia Yang and ZiQing Low

Edited by J. Michael Cole