Updated May 21st, 2021 at 16:17 IST

China's internet watchdog says ByteDance, TikTok, Microsoft collected user data illegally

China’s internet watchdog on May 21 said that companies including ByteDance, Baidu, Kuaishou improperly collected data from its users along with 102 other apps.

Aanchal Nigam
IMAGE AP/Representative Image | Image:self

China’s internet watchdog on May 21 said that companies including ByteDance, Baidu, Kuaishou improperly collected data from its users. In a statement, China Cyberspace Administration also mentioned the United States-based tech giant Microsoft and its two products Bing and LinkedIn. As the country continues its clampdown, Chinese internet watchdog, according to South China Morning Post, ‘named and shamed’ nation’s some of the most popular mobile applications including the Chinese version of TikTok among a total of 105 apps. 

China’s Cyberspace Administration of China said these apps collected data illegally after receiving complaints from users. The authorities reportedly said that the apps violated several laws and had even infringed personal information through illegal access, over-collection and excessive information. The notice, reportedly, was shared to a notice on its WeChat official account. Earlier in April, Chinese regulators had called on 13 online platforms to adhere to stricter regulations in their financial divisions as a push to rein in China’s tech giants.

As per BBC report, Beijing has taken a hands-off approach to encourage the tech giants to flourish but official scrutiny of their platforms has led authorities to step up as they have branched into financial services. Last month, the People’s Bank of China had said  in a statement, “Internet platforms have played an important role in improving the efficiency of financial services and broadening the access of financial services to more people.”

China Bans Crypto Exchanges

In another move to regulate financial exchanges in the country, China on May 18 announced that country’s financial institutions and payment companies from providing any services related to cryptocurrency transactions and has even warned the investors against speculative crypto trading. The latest crackdown by Chinese officials, according to a Forbes report, is in light of the market’s recent volatility. It also marks another blow to the nascent market reeling from one of its biggest sell-offs ever after booming institutional adoption helped to reach highs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the ban, Chinese financial institutions are not allowed from offering clients any service involving cryptocurrencies.

China’s three industry bodies said in a joint statement on Tuesday, “Recently, cryptocurrency prices have skyrocketed and plummeted, and speculative trading of cryptocurrency has rebounded, seriously infringing on the safety of people's property and disrupting the normal economic and financial order.”

 "Judging from the current judicial practice in my country, virtual currency transaction contracts are not protected by law,” it added. 

IMAGE AP/Representative Image



Published May 21st, 2021 at 16:17 IST

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