China’s Cyberspace Administration announced on its website it was removed 105 applications from Chinese app stores for unnamed cyber violations including the popular TripAdvisor application.
China, which heavily regulates and even censors Internet content, removed the applications for apparent violations of one or more of three cyberspace laws. The specific violations, however, were not named in the original report.
Reuters has reported that the Chinese government removed these applications as part of a cleansing of applications that promulgate or support pornography, prostitution, gambling and violence.
The communist country takes a hard line, often without any means of dispute, on content it feels is inconsistent with its cultural, political, economic or otherwise strategic objectives. Common productivity apps and social media platforms are often blocked, including Gmail and Facebook, according to TravelChinaCheaper.com.
Readers may recall that Marriott was briefly blocked by the Chinese government in 2018 after listing Tibet and Taiwan as countries. At the time, Chinese officials noted in a statement regarding the blocking:
“Hotel companies must immediately review all information on their corporate websites and apps, and strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations to firmly stop such incidents from happening again. Officials must severely punish violators.”
The Chinese market appears to hold strategic value for TripAdvisor who, in 2019, announced a joint venture with Trip.com. No word on the impact, if any, these actions by China may have on that joint venture.
At the time of this article’s publication no formal public statement appears have been released by TripAdvisor on the matter.
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