BEIJING (Reuters) - Police in China said on Tuesday they had arrested about 15,000 people for crimes that "jeopardized Internet security", as the government moves to tighten controls on the Internet.
Since taking over in 2013, President Xi Jinping has led an increasingly harsh crackdown on China's Internet, which the Communist Party views with greater importance and acknowledges it needs to control, academics and researchers say.
Police have investigated 7,400 cases of cyber crime, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website. It did not make clear over what period the arrests were made, but referred to a case dating to last December.
China launched a six-month program last month, code-named "Cleaning the Internet".
"For the next step, the public security organs will continue to increase their investigation and crackdown on cyber crimes," the ministry said.
The campaign would also focus on breaking major cases and destroying online criminal gangs, it added.
The sweep targeted websites providing "illegal and harmful information" besides advertisements for pornography, explosives and firearms and gambling. In total, the police said they investigated 66,000 websites.
China runs one of the world's most sophisticated online censorship mechanisms, known as the Great Firewall. Censors keep a tight grip on what can be published, particularly material that could potentially undermine the ruling Communist Party.
In February, China's internet watchdog said it would ban from March 1 internet accounts that impersonate people or organizations, and enforce the requirement for people to use their real names when registering online accounts.
Also on HuffPost:
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place