Beijing recently accused the Chinese Twitter-like social network Sina Weibo of repeatedly posting and transmitting illegal information. As a result, the authority has repeatedly fined Weibo and ordered the social media giant to correct and strengthen information censorship.
After being fined, Sina Weibo’s stock price fell to a new low at noon on Dec. 14.
On the same day, the official WeChat account of the National Internet Information Office of China released a notice saying that it had recently summoned the main person in charge of Sina Weibo. The agency requires Weibo to immediately rectify itself following the “Cybersecurity Law” and the “Law on the Protection of Minors,” among others. Others in charge were also harshly condemned.
The notice stated that the Beijing Municipal Cyberspace Administration Office had fined Sina Weibo more than $471,000.
Between January and November, the National Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) directed the Beijing Cyberspace Administration Office to fine Sina Weibo a total of 44 times. Several times the agency imposed the highest fine of nearly $79,000, and the total amount of penalties Sina Weibo had to pay was $2.25 million.
In a statement, Weibo said it “sincerely accepts criticism” and formed a work group responding to the punishment.
The fine is the latest in a series of penalties imposed by the regulator against tech companies this year, and it comes as the government tightens its control on an increasingly censored internet, with new guidelines established for news sites and online platforms.