China closes 16 Websites for Spreading Rumours

BEIJING: China has shut down websites, made a string of arrests and punished two popular microblogs after rumours of a coup linked to a major political drama that led to the fall of a rising star.

Chinese authorities have closed 16 websites and detained six persons for allegedly fanning the rumours that military vehicles were entering Beijing.

The country’s two most popular microblogs, run by Sina.com and Tencent , twitter like service have suspended comment functions from March 31 to April 3 to clean up rumors and other illegal information. Each service has more than 300 million registered users.

The State Internet Information Office (SIIO) and Beijing police said Friday that those websites including meizhou.net, xn528.com and cndy.com.cn were closed for spreading rumors of “military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing.

China blocks all information found sensitive under a vast censorship system known as the “Great Firewall”, but the huge rise of weibos is making this task increasingly difficult.

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