>> The three titans of Chinese social media in hot water with the country's cyber regulator Friday. WeChat, Weibo, and Baidu are all being investigated over suspected violations of Beijing's tight cyber security laws. According to the regulator, users on their site have been spreading violence, terror, false rumors and pornography, which Chinese authorities say is a hazard to national security and public safety.
Reuters' Beijing tech reporter Cate Cadell has more.>> So contrary to popular belief, Chinese authorities don't directly censor social media sites in China. They put a lot of pressure on the social media sites to do it themselves. And what's happened is the Chinese government thinks that these companies are failing at doing that.
So now it's bringing forth lots of legal pressure to exert pressure on these companies to get them to do this censorship themselves.>> It's the latest in a series of regulatory actions against the country's top tech firms, as China hardens its stance on censorship and cyber control. Just last month, the same companies were ordered to carry out what the government called immediate cleaning and rectification of their platforms.
>> Some of the examples that the Chinese regulators pointed out were things like misrepresenting Chinese history by insinuating that Americans helped China during the Word War II. Or articles saying that Chinese politicians were involved in sordid affairs. What essentially happened at that round table meeting was that they called these companies in and they said, listen, this is the type of content which you're not allowed to have You're not doing a good enough job of getting rid of it on your platforms.
>> China's moves to boost online censorship and surveillance are only expected to tighten ahead of the Communist Party's annual Congress later this year. And with well over a billion active accounts across the country, the impact of a stepped up social media crackdown is guaranteed to ripple far and wide.