In June, China enacted a new cybersecurity law, which rules that sensitive information related to the country's national security - which many consider a vague definition - has to be stored on servers within the country's territory.
China's cyber regulator on Friday said it was investigating the country's top social media sites over failing to comply with strict laws that ban content which is violent, obscene or deemed offensive to the Communist Party.
The country's regulator for cyberspace said that users are spreading terror, violence, pornography, false rumors and other things that put in hazard the national security, social order and public safety.
The timeline of the case has not yet been revealed but any subsequent progress will be announced by the CAC's branches in Beijing and Guangdong, where the three companies are based.
Canadian pastor returns home after release from North Korean prison
Freeland said Canada is "working with our global partners to seek a resolution, a de-escalation" in the situation. On Wednesday, North Korea said it was considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S.
Baidu, one of the companies being investigated, said it regretted the facilitation of illegal content on its Tieba platform and explained that it'll "actively cooperate with government departments to rectify the issue and increase the intensity of auditing".
China has applied increasing pressure over Internet media in the run-up to an important Communist Party congress later this year that is expected to consolidate President Xi Jinping's authority. Tencent Holdings Group (TCEHY) and Weibo Corp.
Shares of Hong Kong-listed Tencent, in which Napers owns 33 percent, fell nearly 5 percent.
Messaging app WeChat and microblogging service Weibo are China's most popular social media platforms, and have thrived due to the absence of western competitors like Facebook and Twitter that are banned by the country's censors. In May, it released regulations for online news sites and network portals that expanded curbs on content and required all services to be overseen by party-sanctioned editorial staff.
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