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Ren Zhiqiang: Latest Victim of China’s Tougher Cyber Laws: Mulls For Further Toughening

Feb 29, 2016 09:24 AM EST

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The Cyberspace Administration of China, Chinese cyberspace watchdog, has ordered on Sunday, for closure of micro-blogging accounts owned by a former property tycoon. The tycoon, Ren Zhiqiang, is a retired top executive from a state controlled property developer. He is best known for bold remarks on China's economic policy and the ban follows accusation of spreading illegal messages leaving harmful impact.

Weibo.com and t.qq.com, the two most popular micro-blog portals in China have been ordered to ban the accounts following Ren's criticisms on President Xi Jinping. The property tycoon has more than 30 million online followers, reports Reuters.

State media have been funded by taxpayers and should serve them instead of the Communist Party, Ren cites. The citing has been made since President Xi urged state media early this month to follow party lines in their reporting, according to a report published in BBC.

In recent days, China has been facing strong criticism for its tight internet regulations that include blocking major cites and censoring posts. The latest banning has been notified through a statement, posted on the website of Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

However, the statement doesn't mention which of Ren's statements has prompted the authority to impose banning. The cyberspace is not beyond laws and nobody is allowed to spread illegal information using the internet, reports VentureBeat quoting Jiang Jun, spokesman for the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs.

According to the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, around 40 Chinese journalists have been facing music in prison now for their online postings. Referring Ren's last week post attacking President Xi as anti Communist Party thoughts, has attracted criticism from the state media.

china.qianlong.com, a website run by the Beijing municipal government, has accused Ren through a commentary posted on February 22. Making remarks against the state media and the party, have cited as the allegation against Ren.

China has also been reported to unveil new rules scheduled to be effective from March 10. The new rules will require prior approval from Beijing officials for distributing online contents by foreign media companies and joint ventures.

Ren's accounts haven't been found in searching on Sunday at Weibo.com and t.qq.com. Weibo.com is owned by Sina Corp. while Reuter's efforts have been failed to reach the tycoon for comments.

China's cyber crime authority has imposed banning on micro-blog accounts of former tycoon Ren Zhiqiang allegedly for criticizing the Chinese Premier. China has widely been accused of using iron hands who criticizes the Communist Party ruling. The country is going to enact further tougher laws to rule its cyber arena on March 10, adding fuel to analysts' anticipations.

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