August 4, 2017
China’s 19th National Congress of the Communist Party – the quinquennial confab where the party selects new members of the Politburo, its ruling council – is expected to begin this fall (official dates have not yet been publicly announced). And in an effort to guarantee that the leadership reshuffle goes off without a hitch, President Xi Jinping is tightening the government’s grip on the internet to help protect the official narrative that Xi’s “Chinese Dream” remains intact.
According to Reuters, China held a drill on Thursday with internet service providers to practice taking down websites deemed harmful.
“Internet data centers (IDC) and cloud companies – which host website servers – were ordered to participate in a three-hour drill to hone their “emergency response” skills, according to at least four participants that included the operator of Microsoft’s cloud service in China.
China’s Ministry of Public Security called for the drill “in order to step up online security for the 19th Party Congress and tackle the problem of smaller websites illegally disseminating harmful information”, according to a document circulating online attributed to a cyber police unit in Guangzhou.”
The Communist Party “protects” China’s 1.4 billion citizens from the influence of subversive foreign using nationwide system of internet censorship known as the “Great Firewall.” But as the country’s financial regulators grow increasingly concerned about the country’s dangerously overleveraged economy, which is threatening to sink the country’s fragile stock market, it’s likely that the government sees local business media as a threat. Two years ago, following the spectacular runup and collapse of the Shanghai Composite, authorities arrested one of China’s most respected financial journalist and forced him to make an on air…