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'. Print Edition | Subscribe