China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced Thursday that it had ordered a total of 106 apps to be removed across app stores for violating user privacy.
The MIIT said that it had required apps that were collecting unnecessary user information to “rectify” themselves on Nov. 3, just two days after China’s national privacy law, the Personal Information Protection Law, went into effect. The regulator ordered app stores to remove the designated 106 apps because they didn’t carry through their respective rectifications under the PIPL and the Cybersecurity Law.
Among the punished apps is Douban, a popular Chinese social media platform that still allows a certain level of free speech. Douban, though not as ubiquitous as WeChat and Weibo, has been under close regulatory scrutiny. On Dec. 1, China’s cyberspace regulator fined Douban for insufficient content moderation — the 20th time this year. The Cyberspace Administration of China revealed that it had fined Douban a total of $1.4 million throughout 2021.