China Shuts Down Education Apps With 'Vulgar, Pornographic Content'

Chinese authorities shut down a number of education apps and fined its companies for inappropriate contents.
Chinese authorities shut down a number of education apps and fined its companies for inappropriate contents. (Photo: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)

Chinese authorities shut down some education apps and fined its companies for inappropriate contents. The move is part of the country's effort to clean up its online platforms and use technology to upgrade its schooling system.

The country reviewed over 20 education apps and asked the authority to order for the closure of HDzuoye's mobile app, per the South China Morning Post. It also has to pay a fine of 50,000 yuan. China also compelled Namibox to eliminate its app's "problematic parts" and pay a fine of 80,000 yuan.

According to The Office of Combating Pornography and Illegal Publications, there has been a rise in the use of education apps, but the problem about "vulgar and pornographic content" also gets serious. The Chinese government has been working on a campaign to get rid of what it considers inappropriate content from the internet, including violent mobile games and apps considered to be commercial advertising.

The country is now addressing the concerns over information found online as its aim to direct the use of technology to improve its schooling system. If the companies do not comply with the removal of its harmful contents, it will be permanently banned from providing "products" to China's education system.

"The rapid development of the internet has driven various innovations but the phenomena of pursuing profit but ignoring social responsibility exist during the process," the Office said. "It is our important duty to protect the mental and physical health of youth." The Office has shut down 26,000 websites and confiscated 15.9 million illegal publications in 2018.

The ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece, People's Daily, via Yahoo Singapore, said China's educational authorities want to prevent the primary and secondary schools from using these apps. The publication noted that there is a dire need for the education authorities to clean and regulate these harmful apps. All of the country's education bodies have the responsibility to review, standardize campus apps, and ensure that it is safe and healthy for the students to use.

Research and Decebo's statistics predict China's online education market will grow at 20 percent every year. It can reach 270 billion yuan this 2019 from 156 billion yuan in 2016.

China uses new technologies like live-streaming, legit educational apps, and online classes to advance its educational services as the country embraces the use of "big data and artificial intelligence." The cleaning up of online educational platforms is said to be a move to inspire the education departments to adopt the changes introduced by the central government's Internet plus policy in 2015 that allow new technologies to play an important role to reform basic education.

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