China will further tighten its internet regulations with a pledge on Sunday to strengthen controls over search engines and online news portals, the latest step in President Xi Jinping's push to maintain strict Communist Party control over content.
Xi has made China's "cyber sovereignty" a top priority in his sweeping campaign to bolster security. He has also reasserted the ruling Communist Party's role in limiting and guiding online discussion.
The five-year cultural development and reform plan released by the party and State Council, or Cabinet, calls for a "perfecting" of laws and rules related to the internet.
That includes a qualification system for people working in online news, according to the plan, carried by the official Xinhua news agency. "Strike hard against online rumors, harmful information, fake news, news extortion, fake media and fake reporters," it said, without giving details.