China is cracking on podcasts and audio applications


By removing dozens of podcast and audio apps, China kicked off another round of its online content purge.

Chinese policy to regulate and delete any online videos and text information considered “hazardous” to society supports the move to delete the audio content.

The relevant authorities have removed or closed as many as 26 podcast and audio apps, China’s Cyberspace Administration announced last week on its WeChat account.

In addition to popular music app NetEase Music, the affected apps include popular audio apps Lizhi FM and Ximalaya FM. Searches in the China Apple App Store and Android app markets have shown that these apps are no longer inaccessible.

The regulatory authorities said in the statement that these affected padcasts and audio applications have spread “historical niahilism,” “obscene and pornographic information” on their platforms, seriously damaging the ecology of the internet and seriously impacting young people’s healthy growth.

Despite the crackdown on podcasts and audio applications, China’s Cyberspace Administration is still encouraging mainstream media and netizens to produce audio that is “excellent content for people” to create a positive-energy network audio space, it said.

The China Cyber Watchdog has since last year shut down thousands of mobile apps to distribute pornographic material and steal private information to’ protect young people.’

In April 2018, after a crackdog by the country’s media watchdog, four Chinese news apps, whose combined active users exceeded 400 million, were suspended from downloading to a number of Android app stores in China. It followed the closure of 128,000 websites in China that, according to the official Xinhua news agency, contained obscene and other harmful information in 2017, after the first ever cyber security law of China officially entered into force on 1 June 2017.

In November of last year, the popular WeChat messaging app, whose operating user base is more than 1 billion worldwide, undertook to clean up undesirable content in its platform so that the government can maintain a “healthy” reading environment.

Meanwhile, Newzoo expects China this year to be surpassed by the US as the world’s largest gaming market, as in 2018, China’s nine-month ban on new games is still chilling across the entire market.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.