China replaces head of internet monitoring agency with deputy

China has replaced the man in charge of the country's tight internet controls with a rising star in the Communist Party, news reports said Wednesday.

Lu Wei has stepped aside in favour of his deputy Xu Lin as director of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which controls online security and censorship, the South China Morning Post reported.

Xu, 53, is considered a key ally of President Xi Jinping, after the two worked together in the Shanghai party committee. Xu was in charge of communications on the committee until Xi moved to Beijing in 2007.

Lu, 56, is also thought to be close to the president. He retains a role as a deputy head of the Communist Party's Central Publicity Department, the report said.

Lu, listed as one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine last year, oversaw a dramatic tightening of Beijing's monitoring and control of the internet since 2013, when he became head of the CAC.

China employs robust internet controls, known collectively as the Great Firewall of China, to block Google services, such as Gmail and Google Maps, as well as the social media sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Last update: Wed, 29/06/2016 - 15:21
Author: 

More from World

Obama commutes sentence of whistleblower Chelsea Manning

US President Barack Obama is commuting the sentence of whistleblower Chelsea Manning for leaking defence documents...

Woman sues Trump for defamation over alleged sexual advances

A former contestant on the reality television show "The Apprentice" on Tuesday filed a defamation lawsuit against US...

Orlando nightclub shooter's widow charged in attack

The widow of the man who gunned down 49 people in a nightclub in Florida last June was charged Tuesday with helping...

Nigeria "accidentally bombed" civilians in north-east, president says

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said his military "accidentally bombed" civilians in the country's north-east on...

MSF: Nigerian airstrike on refugee camp leaves 52 dead, 120 wounded

At least 52 people were killed and 120 wounded after a Nigerian military airstrike on a refugee camp in the country'...