Censorship sweep punishes deepfake app Reface and online school Xueersi in China’s latest internet crackdown



a desktop computer sitting on top of a desk: Computer users sit near a monitor display with a message from the Chinese police on the proper use of the internet at an internet cafe in Beijing. Photo: AP


Computer users sit near a monitor display with a message from the Chinese police on the proper use of the internet at an internet cafe in Beijing. Photo: AP

A deepfake face-swapping tool, which can superimpose anyone’s face into scenes from films, was ordered to disappear in China earlier this year, according to the country’s internet watchdog. It joins dozens of other apps and websites that have come under fire from authorities, including an online school accused of encouraging teenage romance.

In its latest progress report, the Cyberspace Administration of China said it ordered the removal of a number of apps accused of “disseminating politically harmful content”. Among them was Reface, a freemium app that can generate deepfake video clips from a single photo.

By Tuesday evening, Reface remained available in Apple’s iOS App Store in China, but it could not be found in Chinese Android app stores run by

Read More