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UPDATE 1-China closes more than 13,000 websites in past three years

From Reuters - December 23, 2017

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has closed more than 13,000 websites since the beginning of 2015 for breaking the law or other rules and the vast majority of people support government efforts to clean up cyberspace, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday.

The government has stepped up already tight controls over the internet since President Xi Jinping took power five years ago, in what critics say is an effort to restrict freedom of speech and prevent criticism of the ruling Communist Party.

The government says all countries regulate the internet, and its rules are aimed at ensuring national security and social stability and preventing the spread of pornography and violent content.

A report to the on-going session of the standing committee of Chinas largely rubber stamp parliament said the authorities had targeted pornography and violence in their sweeps of websites, blogs and social media accounts, Xinhua said.

As well as the 13,000 websites shut down, almost 10 million accounts had also been closed by websites, it added. It did not give details but the accounts were likely on social media platforms.

Internet security concerns the partys long-term hold on power, the countrys long-term peace and stability, socio-economic development and the peoples personal interests, Xinhua said.

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