Improve censorship, China warns Sina

BEIJING - China's government has threatened to shut down Sina - one of the country's most popular news websites - unless it "improves censorship", the state media reported.

The online portal "distorted news facts, violated morality and engaged in media hype", the official Xinhua news agency cited the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) as saying over the weekend.

The CAC will "seriously" punish Sina, with measures possibly including "a complete shutdown of its Internet news services", Xinhua added.

CAC officials added that Sina's "censorship of user accounts has been poor", Xinhua said, in a likely reference to Sina Weibo, a service similar to Twitter, which has hundreds of millions of registered users in China.

The report did not provide specifics on which of Sina's news offerings had fallen foul of censors, but said the CAC accused Sina of spreading "illegal information including rumours, and linked to violence and terrorism", and "advocating heresies".