Sina, Tencent Shut Down Commenting on Microblogs

Published on March 31, 2012
by Loretta Chao

BEIJING — China mounted a broad Internet crackdown beginning Friday, putting temporary restrictions on popular microblogging services run by Sina Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. and detaining individuals that it accused of spreading rumors of a coup attempt in Beijing.

The moves are among the most dramatic censorship efforts undertaken by Beijing since the rise over the past two years of the popular microblogging services, known in China as weibo. They allow the fast dissemination of information, challenging the central government’s traditional control of the media.

They also show the continuing tensions in China following the March sacking of Bo Xilai, a former Chinese Communist Party star whose ouster as Party chief of the megacity of Chongqing showed cracks in Beijing’s veneer of political unity.

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