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Refinitiv Blocks Reuters Reports On Hong Kong Protests

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Refinitiv Blocks Reuters Reports On Hong Kong Protests

Refinitiv, a global provider of financial information, used an automated filter to block several Reuters’ stories about the ongoing Hong Kong protests since August, Reuters reports.

What Happened

More than 200 of their stories about the Hong Kong protests, as well as many other articles that could paint China in a bad light were blocked since August, under pressure from the Chinese government, according to the media outlet.

In August, Refinitiv blocked a Reuters story, which reported how China had rejected a local leader’s proposal to meet the protesters’ demands in an effort to drive away from the anti-government protests.

Refinitiv earlier installed an automated filter system to block certain China stories from being distributed in Mainland China, said the Reuters report.

Why It Matters

Western companies in China have recently been under huge pressure from the Xi Jinping government to block any stories that show China in a bad light.

Refinitiv’s censorship effort started in June. At the time, the financial information provider blocked some of Reuters stories on the suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square after the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) threatened to suspend its service in China.

What’s Next

Jim Smith, CEO of Reuters’ parent company Thomson Reuters had multiple discussions with Refinitiv chief executive David Craig regarding the company’s recent censorship on Reuters’ stories.

Smith expressed his concerns over Craig’s decision to impose the filtering, said a senior Thomson Reuters official to Reuters.

But a Refinitiv spokesman defended the company’s position. “As a global business, Refinitiv must comply with the laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate. This is a challenge that not just Refinitiv faces, but also other companies and distributors of financial market information.”

Photo Credit: Eternalsleeper via Wikimedia

 

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