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China tightens content rules for online financial information providers

China's cyberspace regulator issued new guidelines that require domestic financial information providers to take responsibility for the accuracy and legality of the content they distribute.

The guidelines, which will be effective from Feb. 1, 2019, came after an increase in market speculation as well as intentional misinterpretation of monetary and economic policies, the Cyberspace Administration of China said Dec. 26.

Providers must take additional actions to ensure information accuracy, such as hiring professionals to verify the authenticity and legality of information they distribute. These platforms must spell out the sources of information, for instance, and are not allowed to fabricate news that would impact the stock, fund, futures or foreign exchange markets.

Those who breach the regulations will be condemned publicly and required to rectify their behavior, according to the regulator. The move aims to ensure the stability of China's fiscal and monetary environment while keeping the economic order, a spokesperson from the regulator said in a separate statement.

The new regulations target information providers that serve institutional or professional investors, which includes financial analysis and financial trading firms, but do not apply to news agencies, according to the spokesperson.