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Chinese Watchdog Warns Alibaba on Sale of Web Access Tools

  • The CAC says it’s found illegal VPNs and other items on Taobao
  • Beijing has cracked down as the Party Congress approaches
Visitors pose for photographs in front of a signage for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. Alibaba's bet on data technology is driving greater investment in areas including ways to protect user privacy as it battles Inc. for customers globally.
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
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China’s top cyberspace regulators have warned Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and other online services against carrying illicit content, substances and tools to help users circumvent the nation’s internet content barriers.

The Cyberspace Administration of China on Thursday singled out five services, including Alibaba’s Taobao internet bazaar, for criticism and ordered them to rectify their problems immediately. Responding to reports from users, it discovered “controlled substances” as well as illegal virtual private network tools -- used to access foreign websites -- for sale on Taobao, the regulator’s Zhejiang branch said in a post on its WeChat account.