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CHINA BRIEF | Popular Tencent News op-ed column scrubbed from internet after coronavirus critique

The account has suspended publication since late January.

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On Wednesday, Tencent News deleted its popular Dajia opinion column, which has run stories via its public WeChat account for eight years.

The account, which stopped publishing new content on January 27, was one of the most popular op-ed columns on WeChat. One of the last articles published before its closure criticized the Chinese media’s failure in warning the public about the coronavirus in the early stages of the outbreak.

The deletion of the account came after the country’s internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, announced it would set up supervision on social media platforms run by Sina Weibo, ByteDance and Tencent to “create a good cyberspace environment to win the battle against the [coronavirus] epidemic” earlier this month. Guyulab, a non-fiction column also run by Tencent News, was among the columns highlighted and punished by CAC in the statement.