China extends online free speech crackdown, makes news, political content providers get a license

New Chinese policy forbids bloggers from writing about politics without approved credentials.
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The Chinese Communist Party is extending its crackdown on free speech, requiring bloggers and other online users to have government-approved credentials to post political-related content.

The law was mandated by the Cyberspace Administration of China and is set to go into effect next week.

Ma Xiolin, one such politics writer based in China, was told to stop writing about issues relating to politics, economics, or military issues, according to the Associated Press.

"As an international affairs researcher and a columnist, it looks like I can only go the route of entertainment, food and beverage now," he said a few weeks ago.

Ma publishes his stories on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, which informed him of the new law.

Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei said policy commentary is allowed but posting breaking original news is not without the special permit, the wire service also reports.

In recent days, the Chinese government has also banned citizens for using the new social media app Clubhouse on which they could communicate with others worldwide.