Asia

China tightens control of online news after sensitive gaffes

In this April 29, 2015 photo, a woman uses her smartphone near a booth for the Chinese Internet company Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. Chinese state media reported Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, that new rules hold chief editors of news websites personally liable for content, months after several portals posted material that was seen as embarrassing to President Xi Jinping. Tencent, one of China's most popular websites, fired its top editor after a July headline mistakenly said Xi delivered a "furious" - instead of "important" - speech commemorating a Communist Party anniversary. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

In this April 29, 2015 photo, a woman uses her smartphone near a booth for the Chinese Internet company Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. Chinese state media reported Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, that new rules hold chief editors of news websites personally liable for content, months after several portals posted material that was seen as embarrassing to President Xi Jinping. Tencent, one of China's most popular websites, fired its top editor after a July headline mistakenly said Xi delivered a "furious" - instead of "important" - speech commemorating a Communist Party anniversary. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)  (The Associated Press)

The Chinese government is holding chief editors of news websites personally liable for content after several portals this year posted material that was seen as embarrassing to President Xi Jinping.

State media reported Thursday that the new rules placed responsibility squarely on head editors, saying news sites must monitor their content 24 hours a day to ensure "correct orientation, factual accuracy and appropriate sourcing."

The rules come at a time when Xi is ratcheting up control over Chinese media and cyberspace.

Tencent, one of China's most popular websites, fired its top editor after a July headline mistakenly said Xi delivered a "furious" — instead of "important" — speech commemorating a Communist Party anniversary. In March, an online portal called Wujie appeared to inadvertently publish a letter calling for Xi's resignation.