The Chinese government has released a list of at least 41 apps and services that it says violate regulations on data collection. The list includes apps from some of the biggest and most well-known technology companies in the country, including Xiaomi, Tencent and Sina Weibo. The move is part of an ongoing crackdown on illegal data-collection by tech companies, with added emphasis on the most popular software that are used by tens of millions of people around the country.
The development comes a month after the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced the start of a sustained campaign against illegal data-collection practices by internet firms in the country. According to TechNode, more than 8,000 apps and services incorporated the necessary safeguards so as to become compliant with the new standards after the ministry threatened stringent actions against habitual violators.
However, the 41 apps mentioned in the report apparently still violated some of the most basic privacy norms by continuing to “illegally collect and use personal data, excessively request user authorization, or create unnecessary hurdles for unsubscribing users”, according to the TechNode’s translation of the ministry’s official document.
The list of non-compliant apps includes some of the biggest and best-known apps in China, including Tencent’s QQ and QQ Reading, Xiaomi’s digital finance app Xiaomi Finance, Sina Corp’s sports media platform Sina Sports, news aggregator 36Kr and Sohu News, and inter-city delivery service FlashEX. All the apps have been given until December 31st to become compliant with the law, failing which, they will face stringent action from the government.