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Chinese authorities have shut down 31 news websites because they were allegedly editing false information for blackmail, conducting interviews in the name of news organizations, and operating without the necessary permits. According to officials the sites that were taken down “disrupted order in the dissemination of online news information, undermined the reputations of licensed Internet news organizations and damaged the legal rights of individuals and legal entities.”

From China Daily:

BEIJING - Thirty-one news websites have been shut down for operating without permits, conducting interviews in the name of news organizations and editing false information for blackmail and extortion, the State Internet Information Office said Thursday.

These websites include Ren Min Nei Can Wang, an unlicensed website that specialized in publishing false information and blackmailing companies and individuals by threatening to release false information about them, and peoplerw.com.cn, according to a statement issued by the office.

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