China has shut down 17 websites including one run by liberal economist Mao Yushi's Tianze Institute of Economics for violation of internet laws and regulations.
"The 17 websites were closed for providing news service online without Internet News Information Service License, providing pornographic content, not registering for an Internet Content Provider license or providing fake information in registration," which violated laws and regulations, Beijing Internet Information Office said.
The closed websites included one run by Tianze Institute of Economics and its related china-review.com, a commentary website, state-run Global Times reported.
The Sina Weibo account of Mao Yushi, cofounder of Tianze as well as an outspoken economist and free market advocate, was also closed recently.
Mao has triggered controversy for his advocacy of bold reforms and his criticism of neo-Maoist left.
"There is only one thing that is important for Mao Yushi, which is to be a traitor," a Sina Weibo user posted on Friday.
According to the Web cache of Google on Friday, Mao's Weibo account had more than 2.67 million followers with 1,294 posts before it was closed.
At least three people, including a government official and a media employee were sacked or asked to retire in the past two weeks after their online criticism of leader Mao Zedong triggered protests from his loyalists.--PTI