China’s Internet Crackdown Targets Tencent and ByteDance’s Algorithms

ByteDance and Tencent are China’s next targets. The country’s top cyberspace regulator pioneered a regulation to investigate and rectify algorithm security issues of tech giants. 

China’s Internet crackdown continues. On April 8, the country’s top cyberspace regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) kicked off a formal campaign “Qinglang Comprehensive Algorithm Management Regulation in 2022” to investigate and rectify algorithm security issues of tech companies with the aim of safeguarding netizens’ rights. The campaign will be conducted through December 2022.

The agency said in the latest statement it will make on-site inspections of large-scale websites, platforms, and products with strong influence on public opinion and social mobilization. It will prohibit algorithmic recommendation service providers from generating and disseminating fake news and urge algorithms to adhere to “mainstream values” and “spread positive energy” in order to create clean and upright cyberspace.

Apparently, this time the target are internet giants, such as ByteDance and Tencent, whose business model has long relied on artificial intelligence-powered algorithms to help businesses promote ads and content. In January of this year, the government announced the requirement of algorithm service providers to inform internet users how they are targeted and to provide them the option to turn off recommendation services.

Clearly, brands will need to find new ways to target consumers. Yet, this is not a zero-sum game. Algorithms have long manipulated the information we receive and netizens have been increasingly skeptical about the promoted content they receive. Perhaps a cleaner cyberspace may regain users’ trust and help brands establish a genuine connection with consumers. Continue to read the full article here