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Chinese man detained over WeChat rumors

Xinhua, August 12, 2014 Adjust font size:

Chinese police have detained a man suspected of spreading rumors on WeChat, following authorities' new regulation on instant messaging services.

The man managed a WeChat public account that had published unconfirmed reports of public assaults and baby trafficking, police in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region said on Tuesday.

The man, surnamed Wang, is an employee of an Internet company in the city of Guyuan.

He was the sole manager of the account the police accuse of spreading rumors, investigation has found.

Wang will be held in police detention for five days.

The arrest was made after Chinese authorities last week issued a new regulation targeting the country's 5.8 million public accounts on apps like WeChat.

Only media organizations and news websites may now use public accounts to release and retweet political reports.

Under the order from the State Internet Information Office, new registrants are required to provide their real names, while users who have previously registered accounts will have limited access to the service until they verify their identity.

More than 800 million people use instant messengers in China, making more than 20 billion posts every day.

The new rule is part of wider attempts to police cyberspace. Similar regulations were passed in 2012 for microblogging service Sina Weibo, which now has more than 500 million registered users.

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