China seen to tighten Internet curbs, target more content

Control of video, news apps to protect Xi Jinping image: Critics

A photograph of President Xi Jinping seen on a propaganda billboard in China's northern Hebei province. A propaganda app that teaches "Xi Jinping Thought" - as Mr Xi's political philosophy is called - has become the most downloaded item on China's Ap
A photograph of President Xi Jinping seen on a propaganda billboard in China's northern Hebei province. A propaganda app that teaches "Xi Jinping Thought" - as Mr Xi's political philosophy is called - has become the most downloaded item on China's Apple app store.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The videos showed rare scenes of chaos in tightly policed China - people running away frantically as explosions went off in the background. The clips looked like the unfolding of a possible terrorist attack, and went viral quickly on Chinese social media.

But as fast as they started spreading, videos of the incident - which took place last month in the northern city of Changchun - were scrubbed by censors from Chinese Internet platforms.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'China seen to tighten Internet curbs, target more content'. Subscribe