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Weibo deletes stock-tip accounts after Beijing crackdown

Accounts that had millions of followers disappeared overnight.
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, ’s -like social media platform, banned accounts providing stock tips to comply with a directive from Beijing to remove content deemed harmful to China’s economy. The platform’s response to the directive shows the kind of content the Chinese government considers harmful.

A report on Bloomberg Wealth claims that Weibo, one of the largest social media platforms with half a billion users, banned 52 accounts to comply with new rules on finance-related and economic information. One of the banned accounts, called GuSheQu (community of stocks), had over 3.25 million followers. As its name suggests, the account provided stock tips.

Stock-tip accounts were not the only ones that were banned. Others that were banned provided commentary on sensitive macro economics issues such as the country’s population, while others shared screenshots of foreign media articles covering the economy of China.

According to Bloomberg, the ban was in response to a campaign announced by the cyberspace administrator on Friday, calling on platforms and websites to remove content that represented the Chinese economy and financial markets in bad light. Weibo’s interpretation of the new rules show the type of content Beijing considers harmful to the economy.

The campaign was touted as a move to create a “benign” online climate for public opinion, that would in turn promote a “sustainable and healthy development” of the country’s economy. A few months ago, in June, the state-controlled media announced that the government was opposed to the practice of analysts predicting and setting targets for assets in the stock exchange markets.

In March, when the country’s stocks were tanking, similar censorship was witnessed. On the web version of Weibo, searches for phrases translating to “stock market” were removed.

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