China to Embed Internet Police in Tech Firms

BEIJING—China’s government plans to embed cybersecurity police units at major Internet companies and websites to help prevent crimes such as fraud and “spreading of rumors,” state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

It is an unusually hands-on approach by Beijing, which typically sets censorship standards and puts the onus on companies to comply. China’s Internet regulator has previously favored tactics such as threatening to shut down services that didn’t meet censorship requirements.

China’s Ministry of Public Security didn’t say which companies will have the new police units. China’s Internet sector is dominated by three companies, e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., gaming and messaging titan Tencent Holdings Ltd. and search engine Baidu Inc., all of which are publicly listed.

An Alibaba spokesman said the company works with Chinese authorities to combat illegal activities online. “It is our priority to maintain the reliability and security of our platforms to protect our customers,” he said.

Tencent, Baidu and the ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

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Camilla Wood

UK based Legal Aid Lawyer

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