Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said the government would continue monitoring the Apple Daily newspaper’s online service News-in-Motion after the paper’s management promised to introduce a ratings system for the controversial animated news feature.
Hau said his decision to get tough on the Next Media Group was aimed at making new media outlets consider rating their content.
While the central government has yet to take action, Hau yesterday urged it to “continue to take the matter seriously.”
The Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday that the Presidential Office had complimented the city on its swift response.
The city, however, has received a mixed response to its actions. Hau yesterday said he welcomed public scrutiny.
“I am open to criticism as all policy is subject to public scrutiny,” he said.
He said it was the appropriate course of action now that the Apple Daily had decided to classify the content, adding that it proved that the city was right.
The city will continue to monitor News-in-Motion, he said, to ensure that it conforms to the Children and Juveniles Welfare Act (兒童及青少年福利法).
Hau made the remarks while attending an annual prayer breakfast meeting in Taipei yesterday.
The Apple Daily — published by Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai (黎智英) — launched the feature last week in a trial run as the Apple Group expands from print to TV.
The service is only accessible to readers who pay a fee.
It uses animated graphics to reconstruct stories that appear in the newspaper and can also be viewed by cellphone users who scan a bar code printed in the newspaper. Some of the stories feature sexual content and violence.
The Taipei City Government fined Next Media on Wednesday and Thursday for violating the media classification regulations in the Children and Juveniles Welfare Act.
In addition to the two NT$500,000 fines, the city government asked public schools to stop subscribing to the paper and banned teenagers under 18 years old from borrowing the paper in public libraries.
Also on Friday, Minister of Education Wu Ching-chi (吳清基) said News-in-Motion had been barred from the Taiwan Academic Network (TAnet) to protect school children and youngsters from obscene and harmful content.
TAnet is the network covering all academic and educational establishments.
Wu said his ministry had also asked all county and city governments to instruct schools to advise students to stay away from the site’s “scandalous and polluted media content.”
“Any obscene or harmful information, not just News-in-Motion, will be banned from TAnet,” the minister said.
The paper hit back on Friday, its front page accusing the city government of exercising “martial law” and threatening to sue it for “trampling on the freedom of the press.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA AND STAFF WRITER
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the