China has embarked on a “clean-up” of mobile internet services, and now app developers are the government’s next target.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a statement saying that it will “strengthen” the management of telecom firms and app stores among other entities — which includes urging them to verify the true identity of app developers (hat/tip Tech in Asia). It also wants these entities that publish apps to monitor illegal or pornographic information and take them down as necessary.

Stemming the spread of pornographic information seems to be the key aim of the government in its latest move on the app industry, though it can’t be denied that requiring app developers to register with their real names leads to much easier tracking as well.

The ministry also says it will strengthen the technical means to discover any apps that are linked with porn, and increase the crackdown on such apps, which would include creating a blacklist of any developers or apps and forcing app stores to remove them.

This comes after the Chinese government started a crackdown on the messaging app industry late last month, targeting accounts which are determined to spread rumors and information related to matters including terrorism and pornography, as well as those involved in fraud.

Tencent, the owner of popular messaging app WeChat, revealed last month that it shut down a whopping 20 million accounts on WeChat, as they were linked with providing prostitution services. It also closed 30,000 public fake accounts.

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