China steps up online controls with new rule for bloggers

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China’s internet watchdog is cracking down further on online speech, issuing a requirement that bloggers and influencers have a government-approved credential before they can publish on certain topics. The rule from the Cyberspace Administration of China that goes into effect next week is shrinking an already narrow space for discourse amid heavy censorship of sensitive topics and any perceived criticism of the ruling Communist Party. The revised regulation is just one of a series of actions the internet regulator has taken to tighten its grip. Agency head Zhuang Rongwen recently signaled the harder line, saying the agency must “let our supervision and management grow teeth.”