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Freedom tanks in Hong Kong...

Netflix censors a Tiananenmen episode of The Simpsons

Link Here30th November 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in China 2020s...A new decade of Chinese internet censorship
An episode of The Simpsons that refers to the Tiananmen Square massacre is reported to be missing from Disney's streaming service in Hong Kong.

Customers noticed that episode 12 of season 16 is missing from Disney +, which launched in the city this month.

Firms serving Hong Kong are now forced to abide by the same repressive media censorship rules that apply to mainland China.

The episode, named Goo Goo Gai Pan , sees the cartoon family visit China. During their trip to Beijing, they visit Tiananmen Square where a sign reads: On this site, in 1989, nothing happened - a nod to censorship of the deadly crackdown on protesters there that year.

In another part of the episode, the Simpsons also visit the embalmed body of former Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, whom Homer refers to as a little angel that killed 50 million people.



Retrospective film censorship...

China extends Hong Kong's repressive new film censorship law to cover old films

Link Here4th November 2021
Hong Kong has passed a toughened film censorship law empowering authorities to ban past films for supposed national security threats and impose stiffer penalties for any breaches in the latest blow to the city's artistic freedoms.

In June the city announced censors would check any future films for content that breached China's repressive security law. But this latest law allows scrutiny of any titles that had previously been given a green light.

It empowers Hong Kong's chief secretary to revoke the screening license of past and current films.

Maximum penalties for screening an unlicensed movie have been raised to up to three years in jail and a HK$1 million ($130,000) fine.

Film censorship inspectors can enter and search any premises suspected of displaying unlicensed movies without a warrant and titles deemed a security risk will not be able to appeal via the usual channels.



Linked to censorship...

LinkedIn pulls its social networking functionality from China

Link Here15th October 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in China 2020s...A new decade of Chinese internet censorship
Microsoft has decided to pull social networking facilities from the Chinese version of LinkedIn business networking app. LinkedIn explains in a blog post:

Our decision to launch a localized version of LinkedIn in China in February 2014 was driven by our mission to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms. While we strongly support freedom of expression, we took this approach in order to create value for our members in China and around the world. We also established a clear set of guidelines to follow should we ever need to re-evaluate our localized version of LinkedIn in China.

This strategy has enabled us to navigate the operation of our localized version of LinkedIn in China over the past seven years to help our members in China find a job, share and stay informed. While we've found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunity, we have not found that same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed. We're also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China. Given this, we've made the decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn's global social media platform, later this year.

Our new strategy for China is to put our focus on helping China-based professionals find jobs in China and Chinese companies find quality candidates. Later this year, we will launch InJobs, a new, standalone jobs application for China. InJobs will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles. We will also continue to work with Chinese businesses to help them create economic opportunity.

This decision aligns with our commitment to creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. While that has been our vision for nearly two decades now, it feels more important than ever as we all strive to build a global economy that delivers more prosperity and progress to people all over the world.



What's China planning to do?...

China opens a short public consultation on a law that would ban private companies from news reporting

Link Here12th October 2021
Full story: News Censorship in China...State control and sensitive news
Beijing has published a draft law stating that privately funded organisations shall not engage in news-gathering, editing, and broadcasting. Officials have not confirmed whether the new rules will apply to foreign news organisations operating in China, effectively making them illegal.

The proposed new rules ban private media-related businesses as part of a prohibited list of industries. The 2021 list is a very broad ban on everything relating to the news media sector. The equivalent list from the previous year allowed private news companies subject to a size cap.

Beijing has always held a tight grip over news and information in China, and virtually all media organisations are state-run, falling directly under government purview.

The draft law is currently open for public consultation for a week.

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