China aims to tackle misbehaving apps – report

Government seeks to better regulate its sprawling mobile apps market.

Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

March 1, 2021

2 Min Read
China aims to tackle misbehaving apps – report

China is becoming increasingly well known for its apps market. Indeed, the country's technology giants are behind some of the world's so-called super apps, including WeChat, which was created by Tencent in 2011, and Ant Group's Alipay.Many domestic mobile apps also have huge usage figures even though they are unknown outside of the Chinese market. Popular western apps are less present here because of the government's strict censorship control.However, it seems that the proliferation of local apps is also giving the Chinese government plenty of headaches.Figure 1:Naughty, naughty: China's booming app ecosystem is a mixed bag – which is why the authorities are stepping in.(Source: Jorick Jing on Unsplash)Xiao Yaqing, minister of industry and information technology, has now outlined measures to tackle some of the problems that are taking root and regulate the huge market.According to Reuters, the minister said at a briefing in Beijing that China will aim to improve detection technologies to find "loopholes" in information protection."Those apps that refuse to accept rectification must be resolutely removed," he said."On the supervision side, we must also improve our technical equipment capabilities ... we must be able to detect loopholes in information protection, so that the masses can use [apps] with confidence."Cranking up the crackdownAs Reuters noted, China's regulators have recently been cracking down on the country's technology giants, criticizing and punishing them on areas ranging from anti-competitive behavior to violations of consumer rights.Interested in Asia? Check out our dedicated Asia content channel here on Light Reading.As previously reported by Light Reading, the drums have been beating against China's tech giants for some time, and they are now the targets of an antitrust campaign or, as officials describe it, "preventing the disorderly expansion of capital."It's not just about Alibaba and Ant, but China's entire platform economy.Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, collectively known as BAT, have extended their reach well beyond their original businesses, as have newer players like Bytedance, the $180 billion unicorn behind TikTok.Related posts:In China, AI and cloud boost Baidu revenues by 52%China regulators target Alibaba as Jack Ma goes missingFacing down the China 5G challenge: Don't panicChina 5G still immature, says think tank— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Anne Morris

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist, editor and translator. She has been working in the telecommunications sector since 1996, when she joined the London-based team of Communications Week International as copy editor. Over the years she held the editor position at Total Telecom Online and Total Tele-com Magazine, eventually leaving to go freelance in 2010. Now living in France, she writes for a number of titles and also provides research work for analyst companies.

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