China Fines Social Media Firm Douban for ‘Unlawful’ Release of Information

By Reuters
December 2, 2021 Updated: December 2, 2021

BEIJING—The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Thursday it had summoned and fined social media company Douban over unlawful release of information, as Beijing steps up efforts to control and “clean up” the internet space.

The internet watchdog said in a statement that Beijing authorities fined Douban’s operating entity 1.5 million yuan ($235,000) and regulators demanded “immediate rectification” from the company.

Douban, an online platform where tens of millions of Chinese users review films and discuss various social topics, said its reply function had been suspended on Thursday and would be resumed on Dec. 17.

The CAC did not give other details on the reason for the fine.

But, it added that it would “seriously handle” relevant representatives of Douban and said the company had been fined a total of 9 million yuan ($1,411,455) in November.

Certain functions of apps in China have been suspended over “unlawful” or “lowbrow” content, and apps have been temporarily removed from app stores for similar reasons in the past.