Chinese people use their smartphone on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China Wednesday, May 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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China is targeting popular smartphone-based instant messaging services in a monthlong campaign to crack down on the spreading of rumors and what it calls infiltration of hostile forces, in the latest move restricting online freedom of expression.Such services incorporate social media functions that allow users to post photos and updates to their friends, or follow the feeds of companies, social groups or celebrities, and -- more worryingly for the government -- intellectuals, journalists and activists who comment on politics, law and society. The official Xinhua News Agency said the crackdown on people spreading rumors and information related to violence, terrorism and pornography started Tuesday and would target public accounts on services including WeChat, run by Tencent Holdings Ltd, which has surged in popularity in the last two years.
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