The rules announced Tuesday would forbid business operators from faking statistics or information about their product orders, sales and user reviews to mislead customers. They would also be banned from fabricating consumer views to hurt the reputations of their rivals.
Other practices targeted include using data, algorithms or other means to redirect web traffic from their rivals or create obstacles that would prevent customers from installing or running rival services.
Businesses that “seriously” violate the rules would be forced to publicly apologize and commit to fixing their issues, in addition to whatever punishment regulators decide, SAMR added.
The government has cited a need to safeguard national security and protect the interests of its people. Regulators have widely blamed the private sector for creating socioeconomic problems that could potentially destabilize society and affect the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s grip on power.