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Sina fined over 'indecent' material

A popular Chinese Internet firm has been fined for allowing "unhealthy and indecent content" on its websites.

Sina Corporation says regulators have fined it £480,000, and also revoked two of its licences for Internet publication and online transmission of audio-visual programmes.

The penalties against the Internet portal operator come amid an official crackdown that also has resulted in some microblogs being shut down and some Internet users punished on charges of spreading rumours.

China has the world's biggest population of Internet users, with more than 600 million people online.

The ruling Communist Party encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to material considered obscene or subversive.

Sina said it was evaluating the impact of the penalties on its business operations.

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