Chinese government wants to oblige tech platforms to make content indexable

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The Chinese government is said to be working on new rules that require owners of closed platforms such as WeChat and Douyin to make articles and videos on their platform indexable for search engines. The Chinese government wants to get rid of ‘walled gardens’ of tech companies.

By making the articles and images indexable on closed platforms, those companies should be given less power, the Chinese government argues, according to Bloomberg. Because they are less able to keep users within their own platform, part of their advertising revenues would move to search engines like Baidu.

This includes articles on WeChat, Tencent’s chat app with public profiles on which media can publish. It also concerns Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok from ByteDance. Both platforms are currently closed to search engine crawlers, preventing results from those apps from appearing in search engines.

The Chinese Ministry of IT is asking companies what they would think of such a plan and how technically feasible it is. It is still unclear whether the plan will come to fruition. The Chinese government wants to tear down the walls between the tech giants, because they seem to have become sole rulers over their domain. Alibaba controls e-commerce, while Tencent controls the chat market with WeChat and ByteDance controls the short video market with Douyin. Last month, the Chinese government already banned links to competitors.

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