Although the report The Internet in China, published by the State Council Information Office on 8 June, highlights the importance of freedom of speech, the document confirmed the ‘continued need for the use of technology to stop illegal information dissemination’.
The Chinese Government will continue to prevent the spread of information that can ‘harm national security, upset public order or harm minors’ by using legal and technical measures. Internet service providers (ISPs) are responsible for the online content, the document said.
Since 1997, the internet in China is subject to strict regulation. Last February, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology introduced rules to ban online pornography. In March, Google withdrew from the Chinese market after refusing to give in to demands to restrict its search engine results.
With an internet population of over 400 million users, China has become the largest online market in the world.