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Weibo Responds To Chinese Regulator Crackdown: User Content Will Be Unaffected

Weibo Responds To Chinese Regulator Crackdown: User Content Will Be Unaffected

On Thursday, China's media regulators ordered Weibo Corp (ADR) (NASDAQ: WB), AcFun and iFeng to shut down their audio-video services, saying they were operating without the proper license, publishing content not in-line with government rules, and promoting negative comments.

The news sent Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, shares tumbling over 10 percent at the open, bottoming at $69 before pulling up to the $72 handle.

It was quickly followed by two other Chinese social media sites: SINA Corp (NASDAQ: SINA) and Momo Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: MOMO).

Weibo Responds

Weibo issued a press release later in the day saying it would cooperate with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

Of greater significance, Weibo issued a statement early Friday morning in the United States to New Tang Dynasty Television saying (roughly) that “non-programmed categories” of audio-visual would be unaffected, while “programmed categories” will be more strictly managed moving forward.

The context and wording implies that "programmed categories" refers to commercially produced content, such as news media, advertisements and political messaging.

Non-programmed categories would then refer to content uploaded by normal, consumer users.

Weibo shares were briefly up 1.4 percent to $73.60 at Friday’s open, and were bouncing around the high-$72/low-$73 range at time of writing.

Stone Zhang contributed to this article.

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Image Credit: By Julien GONG Min ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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