Starting yesterday, investors have been able to purchase shares of Weibo, sometimes called “China’s Twitter,” on NASDAQ. The company’s regulatory filing with the SEC reveals details not previously known about Weibo’s censorship apparatus, which we wrote about last year.
Weibo, like all Internet publishers and providers in China, is prohibited from letting its users display content that is obscene, fraudulent, defamatory or otherwise illegal under Chinese laws. The content prohibitions also forbid material that “impairs the national dignity of China,” “is reactionary,” “superstitious,” or “socially destabilizing.”
As required under SEC regulations, the company must list for investors potential risks that might affect its share price. Weibo is up front about the risk that the Chinese government’s regulation of content poses to its ability so succeed. “Failure to [censor] may subject us to liabilities and penalties and may even result in the temporary blockage or complete shutdown of our online operations.”
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