China clamps down on online news with new security rules

China is tightening rules for online news as the country's censors try to control the flood of information being spread through instant-messaging apps, blogs and other sources.

The new rules will require online publishers to obtain government licenses and block foreign or private companies from investing in Chinese news services or directly disseminating news.

Chinese news outlets will have to undergo a security review before working with foreign companies.

The rules go into effect June 1 and violations are subject to criminal prosecution.

Existing online censorship tends to be more reactive -- scrubbing items off microblogs and news sites after publication rather than dictating rules on ownership and funding.

There are more than 700 million internet users in China. The country's leaders constantly try to block material considered subversive.



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