National People’s Congress Standing Committee Decision concerning Strengthening Network Information Protection

(Passed on 28 December 2012 at the 30th Committee Meeting of the 11th National People’s Congress Standing Committee”

In order to protect network information security, protect the lawful interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations, safeguard national security and social order, the following decision is hereby made:

I, The State protects electronic information by which the individual identity of citizens can be distinguished as well as involving citizens’ individual privacy. Continue reading

A Proposal for a Consensus about Reform

In over thirty years of reform and open up, China’s economy has seen huge developments, but many problems have emerged in China’s society. Especially because political reform could not proceed at the same pace, bureaucratic corruption, the abuse of public power, the widening gap between rich and poor and other such phenomena have become graver every day, and triggered strong dissatisfaction in society. People are longing for change, the masses’ demands and expectations for reform are growing ever higher, but the pace of reform is limited by obstruction by interest groups, and it cannot by far satisfy the people. An even more fundamental matter is that, although the people themselves bitterly hate all sorts of social injustices, no consensus has been achieved on how to reform the system that creates injustices, so that the forces among the people who promote reform have become fragmented and weakened. Those outside the system cannot bring pressure for reform, those within the system do not have motives for reform. If the structural reform that China’s society urgently needs is thwarted time and time again, gets bogged down and stagnant, the corruption of public power and social dissatisfaction will build up to a dangerous critical point, and China will again miss the opportunity for peace and improvement, and fall into the upheaval and chaos of violent revolution. Continue reading

Report concerning the Situation of Intellectual Property Rights Adjudication Work

Committee Head, all Vice Committee Heads, Secretary General, all Committee Members:

On the basis of the arrangement of this Standing Committee, I represent the Supreme People’s Court in reporting the situation of intellectual property rights adjudication in People’s Courts since 2008, for your deliberation.

I, Progress and achievements in intellectual property rights adjudication work in recent years. Continue reading

Internet Instructions – May 2007 (I)

Note: this is the last post in this series before the holidays. Normal service will be resumed on Wednesday 2 January.

15 May 2007, 09:10:12

All websites: please report as soon as possible the internal third-person control mechanisms of websites, service companies providing information to websites and cooperation methods to our office.

15 May 2007, 17:04:02

All websites: please immediately delete the text “Premier Not On Time For Train” and corresponding information, forums, blogs and other interactive columns are not to discuss. Continue reading

Internet Instructions – April 2007 (II)

13 April 2007, 17:57:46

Earnestly manage news trackers concerning the press conference on the Olympic Games ticket sales

All websites, on the 15th of this month, the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee will organize a press conference on the arrangements for Olympic Games ticket sales. All websites are requested to earnestly manage news trackers for corresponding information, as well as forum posts, blog articles and other interactive segments, and remove negative discussions concerning ticket sales.

13 April 2007, 17:22:43

All websites, concerning the matter of clashes that occurred between Italian police and local Chinese, please delete pictures of the clash, do not set up special subjects, do not put it in the important news section and the front page of websites, interactive segments are not to discuss this. Continue reading

Draft Internet Publishing Requirements: Some Preliminary Thoughts

On the 18th, the General Administration of Press and Publications issued three draft regulations: the Internet Publishing Services Regulations, the Management Rules for Foreign News Publishing Organs Establishing Offices Within the Territory of China and the Press and Publications Sector Standards Management Rules. These three are offered for consultation, with a deadline to submit comments by 10 January. 

These three documents will have a significant impact on the future business of most, if not all, domestic and foreign online media. In the first document, the definition of “network publication” is so broad as to include nearly all online content:

[...] digital works that are . provided to the public through information networks, that have been produced, compiled and processed, the scope mainly includes:

(1) written, photographic, picture, game, cartoon or video reading materials in literary, artistic, scientific or other fields that have knowledge content and ideological content and other originally-created digital works;

(2) digitized versions of already published books, newspapers, periodicals, audiovisual works, electronic publications with identical content;

(3) digital works that are formed by translating, arranging or compilation of the abovementioned works and other methods;

(4) other categories of digital works determined by the General Administration of Press and Publications

Comments could be made about the fact that these documents are released on what will be for many foreigners, the last work day before Christmas, especially given that China has released important media regulation during the holiday period repeatedly in the past. I have translated the first document, and will endeavour to upload the other two documents as soon as possible. 

While I haven’t yet had the time to look at the matter in depth, there are a number of interesting and potentially problematic provisions in the new Network Publishing Regulations. Some of these may amount to a WTO violation, but given that China excluded most telecommunications and cultural services from its WTO schedule, in many cases, it will be hard to establish prima facie inconsistency directly. In general, however, these documents conform to the trends that had been developing already before the 18th Party Congress, with a stronger focus on cultural management and Internet control. It is also not strange that this occurs at the same time that the Propaganda Department is ordering media outlets to print articles on Internet-related crime, there are repeated reports that VPNs come under increasing attack, and China’s strong position at the recent Internet management conference.

So concretely speaking, what do the draft regulations on Internet publishing contain?

First, they impose a national obligation: the legal representative of network publishing companies must be a Chinese citizen, the servers on which the services are run must be physically on Chinese territory, and Sino-foreign joint-venture or foreign-invested enterprises are barred from engaging in network publishing.

Second, they impose the three-evaluation management system that has been in force in the traditional publishing sector for decades. This means that editors and proofreaders must check publications in three steps, with personal responsibility if illegal content is still published.

Third, the Regulations call for a sector association under the leadership of the GAPP, to develop a sector self-discipline structure. Such sector associations are also under the command of the Central Propaganda Department, and the self-discipline conventions that earlier associations have published demonstrate that very often, they are a parallel way of imposing State control on publishing activities.

Fourth, personnel within Internet publishing business must have certain professional qualifications, further expanding the linkage to the Party-State.

Fifth, network publishers become subject to annual assessment requirements, which may result in a loss of licence. At the same time, the State announces support for publications  that support its agenda.

There are obviously many more takes on this document, and I’ll come back on them after the holidays.

Internet Instructions – April 2007 (I)

2 April 2007, 20:39:58

All websites are to reprint the newest article of Chongqing Hualong Net concerning the nail house: http://cqtoday.cqnews.net/system/2007/04/02/000777513.shtml.

3 April 2007, 18:12

Concerning the incident where the Chongqing nail house was pulled down, websites must not reprint or release new information, reports or comments anymore, and may not follow trails or look back. Blogs and forums may not recommend this sort of articles, where posts are overly concentrated, they must be firmly removed. All posts attacking the handling result of this matter or encouraging troublemaking must be firmly blocked and deleted. Continue reading

New Section: China Media Case Digest

In cooperation with the Media Law and Policy Report, a new journal published by China University of Communications (CUC) Law Faculty, this website will offer a bi-monthly case digest, which provides description and analysis of recent development in Chinese media case jurisprudence. The first section will appear online in early January.

The Media Law and Policy Report is a new journal, published by Wei Yongzheng, Li Danlin and Wang Sixin of CUC. The first edition came out in November of this year, and includes sections on new legislation, new cases, comments and articles. It will henceforth be published every other month. The editors graciously permitted the translation and publication of the case section on this website, which will hopefully provide a deeper insight in the development of jurisprudence and judicial practice in this quickly evolving field.

Internet Instructions – March 2007 (III)

20 March 2007, 16:19

All websites: do not play up the incident of two Chinese persons being kidnapped in Nigeria, relevant information must be dealt with in a low-key manner, do not make lead stories, do not set up special subjects, do not link it to the previous kidnapping incidents, do not set up news trackers.

20 March 2007, 17:30

Please notify the persons in charge of all website search engines to come to our office for a meeting tomorrow at 2 in the afternoon, and to bring an electronic copy of all keywords set up for the 17th Party Congress. Continue reading

Internet Instructions – March 2007 (II)

17 March 2007, 23:26

All websites: concerning the mass-type incident in Lusong District, Zhuzhou City, Hunan, only use Xinhua and Hunan provincial news website copy, do not open trackers, it is not permitted to publish information from other sources. Website forums and blogs may also not discuss this.

17 March 2007, 23:23:02

Concerning the mass-type incident in Lusong District, Zhuzhou City, Hunan, only use Xinhua and Hunan provincial news website copy, do not open trackers, it is not permitted to publish information from other sources. Website forums and blogs may also not discuss this. Continue reading

Internet Instructions – March 2007 (I)

1 March 2007, 16:04

All websites: concerning the issue of unlawful construction in Qinglongtou Village, Fangshan District, there may be no reports.

2 March 2007, 17:10:17

All websites: please appoint a special person to report situations daily during the “Two Sessions” period

All websites: the national “Two Sessions” will convene tomorrow, during the period of the “Two Sessions’, all websites are requested to appoint a special person to report that day’s propaganda and reporting situation concerning the “Two Sessions” to the Network Management Office Network Management Section. Content reported by portal websites must include the number of articles (including pictures) issued between 12:00 the previous day and 12:00 of the day in question, the situation of content increase in the “Two Sessions” special subject, newly set-up columns, undertaken VIP interviews and titles, and audiovisual real-time report situations; websites other than portal websites may report all sorts of propaganda and reporting related to the content of the “Two Sessions” in integration with the specialities of that website. All websites are requested to report the above content before 14:00 of every day to Huang Jing at the Network Management Office Network Management Section (e-mail: huangjing@bjwgb.gov.cn, telephone: 671966780). All websites are requested to start reporting the situations starting from 12:00 this Sunday, when reporting matters, ensure that these are succinct and correct. Continue reading

Network Publishing Service Management Regulations (Opinion-Seeking Revision Draft)

Chapter I: General Principles

Article 1: In order to standardize network publishing services order, stimulate the healthy and orderly development of publishing service business, on the basis of the State Council’s “Publishing Management Regulations” and “Internet Service Management Rules”, and corresponding laws and regulations, these Regulations are formulated.

Article 2: These regulations apply to engaging in network publishing business within the territory of the People’s Republic of China. Continue reading

Management Rules on Foreign Press and Publications Organs Establishing Offices Within the Territory of China

(Opinion-seeking Draft)

Article 1: In order to standardize the establishment of foreign press and publications organs’ offices within the territory of China and their work activities, stimulate Sino-foreign press and publications exchange, on the basis of the “Publishing Management Regulations”, the “Foreign Enterprises’ Permanent Representative Organ Registration Management Regulations” and the “State Council Decision concerning Administrative Examination and Approval Matters and Administrative Permits that Need to Be Maintained”, these Rules are formulated. Continue reading

Press and Publications Industrial Standardization Management Rules

(Opinion-seeking Revision Draft)

Chapter I: General Principles

Article 1: In order to strengthen management over press and publications standardization work, stimulate technological innovation and development in the press and publications sector, on the basis of the “Standardization Law of the People’s Republic of China” and other relevant laws and regulations, integrating the real situation of the press and publications sector, these Rules are formulated. Continue reading

Internet Instructions – February 2007 (IV)

11 February 2007, 23:27:07

Concerning the fire that occurred in the Yeosu Foreigner Protection Centre on Chonnam Island, South Korea

Concerning the fire that occurred in the Yeosu Foreigner Protection Centre on Chonnam Island, South Korea, all websites are only to reprint Xinhua copy, close news trackers, do not reprint corresponding images, do not issue it on the main page of websites and the important news section of the news centre. Continue reading

Regulations concerning Some Issues of Applicable Law in Hearing Civil Dispute Cases on Infringement of the Right to Dissemination through Information Networks

(FS (2012)20, passed at the 1561st meeting of the Supreme People’s Court Trial Committee on 26 November 2012

Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China Announcement

The “Supreme People’s Court Regulations concerning Some Issues of Applicable Law in Hearing Civil Dispute Cases on Infringement of the Right to Dissemination through Information Networks” have been passed at the 1561st of the Supreme People’s Court Trial Committee on 26 November 2011, are hereby promulgated and take effect on 1 January 2013.

Supreme People’s Court

17 December 2012. Continue reading

Interpretation concerning Some Questions on Concretely Applicable Law in Hearing Civil Dispute Cases of Infringement of the Right to Dissemination Through Information Networks

The “Supreme People’s Court Interpretation concerning Some Questions on Concretely Applicable Law in Hearing Civil Dispute Cases of Infringement of the Right of Dissemination Through Information Networks” has been passed on 26 January 2012 by the 1561st meeting of the Supreme People’s Court Trial Committee, is hereby promulgated, and will take effect on 1 January 2013.

Supreme People’s Court

17 December 2012 Continue reading

Internet Instructions – February 2007 (III)

7 February 2007, 18:36:32

All websites: please open a “dropped text message display section” on the special subject page of the event: requirements for the wording are as follows:

Dropped text message display section (you can continue to recommend the dropped text messages for participation in the selection, if dropped text message recommendation numbers are within those of the 20 highest scores of that day, and they are passed by the evaluation committee, the dropped text messages may be revived!! List them again!!! Continue reading

Internet Instructions – February 2007 (II)

Beijing Municipal Network Management Office, Yang Le (Yang Le), 18:49:19

All websites, pay attention: please put the special subject on the text message event on the main page of websites, put the title on a red background, and put it as high as possible. Thank you.

Beijing Municipal Network Management Office, Yang Le (Yang Le), 19:03:24

Now, please put the news on the text message recommendation in the header of news centres. Continue reading

Internet Instructions – February 2007 (I)

1 February 2007, 18:14

The matter of Taiwan investment on the mainland is extremely sensitive, all websites must deal cautiously with this, and especially investments that involve Taiwanese businesses in the area of high technology may not be reported without exception. At present, the text “Thaw in Taiwan Investment Ban  – Mainland Semiconductor Market Suddenly Bursts Into Life” that has been reprinted online is gravely inaccurate, all websites are requested to not reprint this, where it has been reprinted, it must be immediately removed, corresponding information may not appear on forums or blogs. Continue reading