Beijing on Monday ordered the closure of popular finance news app wallstreetcn.com, better known as “Wall Street News”, saying it was in breach of cybersecurity laws.
“Wallstreetcn.com has severely violated rules under Chinese cybersecurity law. Please cut off internet access to the app and report related feedback after it takes effect,” said a government order dated June 10 that was sent to the bureau responsible for information communication under the ministry of industry and information technology.
Wallstreetcn.com issued a statement confirming the closure at 11pm, and said the company will carefully implement self correction, improve its management and staff quality comprehensively and try to resume services as soon as possible.
Images of the government order circulated online show that it carries the stamp of China’s internet watchdog, the Cyber Administration of China (CAC).
The order did not specify what the app had done, nor whether the suspension from internet access would be temporary or permanent.
Wallstreetcn.com is a popular finance news app on the mainland known for its growing audience. The app uses push notifications to alert readers about breaking financial news and analysis.
However, the app has been entangled in disputes with news organisations including Bloomberg and Caixin involving copyright violations.
In March, the Shanghai office of CAC issued the company a fine for illegally posting news without obtaining a licence to operate as an internet news service. The company has also been charged for misleading users and disrupting “online news order”.
Users can open the app on their smartphones, but the column of real-time news does not load, with a service operation warning of “weak network signal”. The online version of the website failed to load too.
The app, which is available in iOS and Android download channels, is described as having 180 million users globally.
The company was founded by a Chinese financial journalist in 2013 and has successfully completed three rounds of fundraising. The app has won backing from ByteDance and China Media Capital, according to media reports, although no information on the size of the investments was made public.