China censors hit popular WeChat accounts

Government watchdogs have scrubbed from the Web the accounts of several journalists as Beijing wraps up its annual parliament meeting.

The censors are once again targeting China's popular messaging app WeChat.

Chinese government officials on Thursday closed down a host of popular accounts run by journalists and columnists, according to reports out of the country. The move was seen as a response to possible criticism of the government, which held its annual parliament meeting on Thursday. The accounts were shuttered before Premier Li Keqiang started a news conference to announce the end of those meetings, according to reports.

Tencent Holdings, WeChat's owner, didn't seem upset by the government's move. Speaking to Reuters, which reported on the takedowns, a spokesman for Tencent said that it's always reviewing "suspicious causes of spam, violent, pornographic, and illegal content." The company even has a 24-hour hotline for users to report abuse.

WeChat was hit last year with a different kind of censorship, as the government banned users from sending messages containing any mention of Southern Weekly, a newspaper that spoke out against press control across China.

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