China Bans 4,000 Websites in ‘Vulgarity’ Clampdown

The Chinese authorities have shut down 4,000 sites, some of which infringed copyright and some of which promoted “improper values, vulgarity or obscenity”.

Kerry Allen, a BBC analyst, said of the censorship: “There have been a number of these crackdowns before, and Chinese people come to expect that they are not websites that they will regularly access, or any that they are reliant on”.

Many of the Communist Party’s clampdowns impact dating sites. SeekingArrangement, for example, was removed from the Chinese version of the App Store in May.

A move against scammers saw 600 arrested in January. The police report read: “They solicited gifts and posted other messages to lure the user into spending money, (…) thus illegally generating profit”.

In 2020, China will implement a system of ‘social credit’, sometimes referred to as the ‘citizen score’. The changes will impact the users of some Chinese dating apps.

The technology monitors citizens on a number of dimensions, attempting to gauge their trustworthiness. It has been criticised as authoritarian in many Western media outlets.

Baihe, one of China’s leading matchmaking services, incorporates a trial version of the system on its platform. Higher scoring singles supposedly make better life partners.

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