China May Be Chasing Impossible Dream by Trying to Harness Internet Algorithms

China’s powerful cyberspace regulator has taken the first step in a pioneering—and uncertain—government effort to rein in the automated systems that shape the internet.

Earlier this month, the Cyberspace Administration of China published summaries of 30 core algorithms belonging to two dozen of the country’s most influential internet companies, including TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd., e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., owner of China’s ubiquitous WeChat super app.