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China tells Tencent to submit new apps, updates for inspection-state media

A Tencent logo is seen at its booth at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China September 4, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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SHANGHAI, Nov 24 (Reuters) – China has required Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) submit any new apps or updates for inspection before they can be uploaded after a number of its apps were found to have infringed users’ rights and interests, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday.

China’s state broadcaster CCTV cited the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)as making the requirement for the Chinese social media and gaming group to submit apps for inspection.

The MIIT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Tencent said its apps remained functional and available for download.

“We are continuously working to enhance user protection features within our apps, and also have regular cooperation with relevant government agencies to ensure regulatory compliance. Our apps remain functional and available for download,” the company said.

A separate report by Chinese financial media outlet Yicai said that the MIIT had also issued a notice to say that between Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, all mobile apps and their updates will need to undergo a roughly seven-day-long review before they can be uploaded to app stores.

Chinese regulators have over the past year mounted a wide-ranging crackdown on the country’s tech companies, seeking to dismantle some of the industry’s long-held practices after accusing them of monopolistic behaviour and infringing user rights.

This has included a step up in checks on mobile apps by regulators. On Nov. 3, MIIT ordered 38 apps from companies, including those of Tencent, to rectify the excessive collection of personal information.

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Reporting by Brenda Goh
Editing by David Goodman, Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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