BEIJING, Sept 19 China's biggest micro-blog
operator, Sina Corp , is enhancing self-censorship to
stamp out "rumours" as it copes with explosive growth in user
numbers, its chief executive Charles Chao said, according to a
news report on Monday.
Chao said the Sina's "Weibo" microblogging site had over 200
million registered users by the end of June who were sending out
up to 75 million comments and messages every day, the China News
Chinese officials have voiced worries about the feverish
growth of microblogs, which can be used to send information and
comments unwelcome to the ruling Communist Party's censors, and
Chao said he was listening to the worries about false "rumours"
spreading across the Internet with lightning speed.
"Because sometimes rumours can spread too quickly, Sina is
now establishing more mechanisms to quash rumours through a
variety of channels," Chao told an industry forum in Beijing on
"There is a lot of false news on Weibo, and there are also
many rumours, and this is creating a big challenge for
government management and is also a huge challenge for vendors
on our platform," said Chao, adding that rumours are magnified
on Weibo due to the large audience.
Chinese microblogs carry plenty of celebrity gossip and
harmless fare. But they also offer forums for lambasting
officials and reporting unrest or official abuses, and Beijing
is worried about their potential to erode the party's authority
and stoke popular discontent, even protest.
China blocks popular foreign sites such as Facebook, YouTube
and Twitter, and uses filters and monitoring to block unwelcome
comment on domestic Internet sites.
But a stream of warnings in state media has exposed how
nervous Beijing is about the booming microblogs, and analysts
have said stricter regulation could be coming.
These microblogs allow users to issue bursts of opinion -- a
maximum of 140 Chinese characters -- that can spread through
chains of followers who instantly receive messages.
Chao said stamping out "rumours" could demand a firmer
"From this perspective, the basic point for protecting what
we call healthy order on microblogs lies in sounds laws and
regulations and upgrading legal enforcement," he said.
(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Ken Wills and Ed Lane)