And earlier this year, several people in Hong Kong linked to a local publisher critical of Beijing's leader went missing. It later emerged some were in the custody of Chinese police and even offered televised confessions in which they claimed to have willingly traveled to China to assist various investigations.
Even those who are merely popular online do not appear to be safe from censorship.
Reports this week said that Papi Jiang, whose videos about issues concerning young Chinese women had attracted her a big fan base and a reported $2 million from investors, had been ordered by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television to stop recording and posting videos.
The regulator reportedly also ordered sites hosting content from the internet star to remove it, citing her use of swear words.
As Chinese Communist leaders grapple with governance in the digital age, authorities have recently sought to exert greater control over the internet, introducing new regulations that include blocking access to foreign websites.
At the event on Tuesday, Xi said China would enhance cyber security capabilities, as he urged Chinese internet firms to expand globally, Xinhua reported.
Xi also appeared to try to appease foreign technology firms, even as social media giants Facebook and Twitter remain blocked on mainland China.
"China's open door cannot and will not close. We welcome all foreign internet companies as long as they comply with laws in China," the Xinhua reported Xi as saying.
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