Money and Markets

China's Weibo reportedly shuts down accounts for stock tips as Beijing targets 'damaging' content

Business Insider US
  • Chinese blogging site Weibo has shut down more than 50 accounts that published stock tips and market information, reports said on Thursday.
  • Beijing last week launched a campaign targeting what it sees as misinformation about China's financial and economic policies.
  • The most popular account that was shut down had more than 3 million followers.
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Weibo, one of China's most popular blogging sites, has shut down dozens of accounts that offered stock tips and financial information, according to reports on Thursday. The moves were made in response to Beijing's efforts to clean up what it sees as damaging information on social media.

The company has closed at least 52 accounts including Stock Community, an account that posted stock-market information and had 3.25 million followers, according to the South China Morning Post. The second-largest account that was shut down had 1.3 million followers and was run by verified personal blogger Michael Chen.

The two accounts were "illegally editing and publishing financial information," Weibo said in a Wednesday statement, according to SCMP. Six accounts were closed for "malicious marketing".

Chat rooms affiliated with accounts usually charge followers to join in return for stocks tips, according to a Bloomberg report. One account told users in March to buy stock in Henan Mingtai Al Industrial Co., an aluminum foil maker. Its shares have nearly doubled since the March 12 post. Two other stock picks from the account have declined by more than 10%.

Last week, the Cyberspace Administration of China outlined a new campaign targeting what it called misinterpretations of the country's financial and economic policies. The campaign was launched as the Chinese government scrutinises large technology companies and others in a bid to tackle issues such as anti-competitive behaviour and what it sees as security risks to US-listed Chinese firms.

Nasdaq-listed shares of Weibo rose as much as 1.6% during Thursday's session. The shares have risen about 30% this year, pushing the company's market valuation to more than R173 billion.

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