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China sets Net news rules

China set new regulations on Internet news content on Sunday, requiring established media companies to get permission to run a news Web site.

The rules also require new operators to register with government information offices. The full rules were not spelled out, but the state news agency said that Internet news sites must "be directed toward serving the people and socialism and insist on correct guidance of public opinion for maintaining national and public interests."

China has cracked down on dissidents using the Internet to spread their message. The country already has cyberpolice who patrol the Internet, monitoring for postings that criticize the government, address sensitive topics or break with standards of . Beijing recently jailed a journalist accused of leaking state secrets.

Blog community response:

"Chinese government once again offers a vivid demonstration of why the China-phoria drawing more VC dollars, more Western internet business and more analyst interest is such a gamble."

"The reality here is that this is nothing new -- but just reaffirms that the government is going to censor news, both online and off. And, since they've now required all website owners to register with the government, they'll be better able to track down those who disobey these vague rules."

"So much for greater freedom of speech and democracy in China. This insular giant remains one place the web cannot fully penetrate."
--Ranier PR blog

"A prosperous middle class will lead to more demands for individual rights including the freedom of speech."
-- Capitalist Solutions In Hong Kong