Procedural Regulations for Administrative Law Enforcement concerning Internet Information Content Management (Opinion-seeking Draft)
Chapter I: General Provisions
Article 1: In order to standardize and guarantee that Internet information content management departments exercise their powers according to the law, correctly impose administrative punishment, stimulate the healthy and orderly development of Internet information services, protect the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations, safeguard national security and the public interest, on the basis of the relevant provisions of the “Administrative Punishment Law of the People’s Republic of China”, the “Administrative Coercion Law of the People’s Republic of China”, the “National People’s Congress Standing Committee Decision concerning Strengthening the Protection of Online Information”, the “Internet Information Service Management Rules” and the “State Council Notice concerning Empowering the Cyberspace Administration of China to Take Responsibility of Internet Information Content Management Work”, etc., these Regulations are formulated.
Article 2: These Regulations apply to Internet information content management departments carrying out administrative law enforcement, and imposing administrative punishment on individuals, legal persons and other organizations violating laws, regulations and rules concerning Internet information content management.
Internet information content management departments as mentioned in these Regulations, are the Cyberspace Administration of China and the local Internet information offices.
Article 3: Internet information content management departments carrying out law enforcement shall abide by the principles of openness, fairness and justice, ensure that the facts are clear, evidence is conclusive, procedures are lawful, laws, regulations and rules are used correctly and appropriately, and law enforcement documents are used in a standardized manner.
Article 4: Internet information content management departments are to establish administrative law enforcement supervision structures.
Higher-level Internet information content management departments are to supervise the implementation of axle by lower-level Internet information content management departments.
Article 5: The national and local Internet information content management departments shall strengthen the construction of law enforcement ranks, establish and complete law enforcement training, examination, assessment, qualification and seniority management structures.
Law enforcement personnel shall participate in training concerning legal knowledge and professional knowledge organized by the national and local Internet information content management departments, undergo axle qualification assessment and examination, and may only engage in law enforcement work after obtaining law enforcement certification.
Law enforcement certification are uniformly produced, approved and issued by the national Internet information content management department, or issued and approved by authorized provincial-level Internet information content management departments.
Chapter II: Axle jurisdiction
Article 6: Administrative punishment jurisdiction is held by the county-level or higher Internet information content management department of localities where unlawful acts occurred.
Localities where unlawful acts occurred include the locality where the website on which the unlawful act occurred is registered, the place of residence of the website builder, manager or users, or the locality of industry and commerce registration (where the locality of industry and commerce registration is different from the main business locality, the main business locality may be used), the locality of network access, and the location of the computer and other such terminals.
Article 7: County (district) and city (quarter, prefecture) Internet information content management departments have jurisdiction over administrative punishment cases concerning Internet information content within their administrative areas according to their powers.
Provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information content management departments have jurisdiction over major and complex administrative punishment cases concerning Internet information content within their administrative areas according to their powers.
The national Internet information content management department has jurisdiction over administrative punishment cases concerning Internet content appearing on Central news websites and major commercial websites as well as major or complex administrative Internet information content punishment cases occurring on a nationwide scale.
Provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information content management departments may, on the basis of laws, regulations and rules, and taking account local realities, stipulate the concrete division of work for hierarchical jurisdiction within their administrative areas.
Article 8: Where two or more Internet information content management departments both have jurisdiction over the same unlawful act by the parties concerned, the Internet information content management department that first filed the case or of the main locality where the unlawful act occurred will have jurisdiction. Where jurisdictional powers are disputed, matters will be resolved through consultation; where consultation is unsuccessful, the matter will be reported to a common higher level Internet information content management department that will assign jurisdiction.
Article 9: When higher-level Internet information content management departments believe it to be necessary, they may directly investigate and prosecute cases over which lower-level Internet information content management departments have jurisdiction, they may also transmit cases that fall under their own jurisdiction to lower-level Internet information content management departments for investigation and prosecution.
Where lower-level Internet information content management departments cannot exercise jurisdictional powers over cases under their jurisdiction because of special reasons, they may request a higher-level Internet information content management department to take over or reassign jurisdiction.
Article 10: After higher-level Internet information content management departments receive a notification about jurisdictional disputes or a request to reassign jurisdiction, they shall make a decision on the assignment of jurisdiction within ten working days, and notify the lower-level Internet information content management departments in writing.
Article 11: Where Internet information content management departments discover that cases do not fall under their jurisdiction, they shall transmit them timely to Internet information content management departments that have jurisdiction, or to relevant administrative management departments for processing.
Internet information content management departments receiving such transmitted cases shall timely inform the transmitting Internet information content management department about the results of the investigation and prosecution in that case; where it is believed the transmission is inappropriate, they shall request the common higher-level Internet information content management department to assign jurisdiction, and the case may not be transmitted again.
Article 12: When Internet information content management departments investigate and prosecute cases and discover that the unlawful act is a suspected crime, they shall timely transmit it to the judicial authorities.
Where judicial bodies decide to file a case, the Internet information content management department shall, within three days from receiving notification about such filing from the judicial authorities, submit all materials related to the case to the judicial authorities, and conduct handover formalities.
Article 13: Where Internet information content management departments may lawfully revoke Internet news information service permits, cancel Internet news information service licenses or cancel Internet news information service filing numbers, they should put forward a proposal for administrative punishment, and submit the obtained evidence and corresponding materials to the Internet information content management department that originally issued licenses or granted filing, the original licence-issuing or filing Internet information content management department will make an administrative punishment decision about whether or not they will revoke permits, cancel licenses or delete filing numbers.
Chapter III: Case-filing
Article 14: Internet information content management departments shall timely investigate, prosecute and deal with the following matters, and fill out a “case source registration file”:
(1) where case clues are found during supervision and inspection;
(2) where citizens, legal persons or other organizations file a complaint, appeal or report;
(3) where higher-level bodies hand it over or lower-level bodies request investigation and prosecution;
(4) where relevant department transfer the matter or it is divulged through other methods and channels.
Article 15: The filing of cases shall meet the following conditions:
(1) there being suspected unlawful facts;
(2) where administrative punishment shall be imposed according to the law;
(3) which fall within the scope of Internet information content supervision, management and administrative punishment;
(4) which fall under the jurisdiction of the Internet information content management department in question.
Where the conditions for filing a case are met, a “case-filing examination and approval form” shall be filled out, corresponding materials are attached at the same time, it is to be reported within seven working days to the relevant responsible person within the Internet information content management department for approval of case filing, and two or more law enforcement personnel are assigned as case handlers. Under specific circumstances, it is permitted to lengthen the case filing period to 15 working days.
Article 16: Concerning complaints, appeals or reports for which no cases are filed, after agreement from the responsible person within the Internet information content management department, the results shall be notified to the named complainant, appealing party or reporting party, and the corresponding circumstances for non-filing will be recorded and preserved in writing.
Where it is decided not to file cases after transferral to another department, the transferring department shall be notified in writing.
Where filing is refused or cancelled, the handlers shall produce a “non-filing examination and approval form” or a “filing cancellation examination and approval form”, and report it to the relevant responsible person within the Internet information content management department for approval.
Article 17: Where one of the following circumstances applies to case handlers, they shall withdraw on their own initiative; the parties also have the right to request the withdrawal of case handlers:
(1) being a party in the case or a party’s close relative;
(2) having direct relationships of interest with the case;
(3) having other relationships with parties toe the case that may influence the fair processing of the case.
The withdrawal of case handlers is decided upon by relevant responsible persons within the Internet information content management department. Where the parties refuse to submit to such decisions, they may appeal for reconsideration once.
Before a withdrawal decision is made, the personnel whose withdrawal is requested does not cease investigation and handling of the case.
Chapter IV: Investigations and evidence gathering
Article 18: When Internet information content management departments engage in case investigations and evidence-gathering, there may not be fewer than two law enforcement personnel, and they shall display their law enforcement badge. When necessary, it is also permitted to entrust or specially appoint specific personnel to provide assistance.
Where evidence is collected and gathered with a party in the case for the first time, they shall be notified about the right they have to request the withdrawal of handling personnel.
When collecting gathering evidence with relevant work units or individuals, these shall be notified about their duty to truthfully provide evidence. The subject of investigation or relevant persons shall truthfully answer inquiries and assist or cooperate with the investigation, timely provide information issued by the Internet information service provider, information issued by users, daily records and other such relevant materials that should be preserved according to the law, they may not obstruct or interfere with the investigation of the case.
Law enforcement personnel shall maintain the secrecy of State secrets, commercial secrets, personal privacy and personal information that they learn in the process of handling cases.
Article 19: Where Internet information content management departments need to coordinate investigations or evidence-gathering with other localities’ Internet information content management departments during the process of handling cases, they shall issue a letter of investigation entrustment. The entrusted Internet information content management department shall vigorously provide assistance, and shall generally complete corresponding work within 15 working days of receiving the letter of investigation entrustment; where it is necessary to extend the period of completion or assistance is not possible, the entrusting Internet information content management department shall be notified timely.
Article 20: Materials that may be used to prove facts of cases are all evidence, including electronic data, audiovisual material, written evidence, material evidence, witness testimony, statements by the parties, appraisal opinions, investigation reports, inspection records, on-the-spot records, inquiry records, etc.
Electronic data refers to all data that is produced, altered, deleted, stored, transmitted or obtained with the use of information technology, including information created through e-mail, electronic data exchange, online chat records, blogs, microblogs, mobile short messages, electronic signatures, domain names, etc., or information stored on electronic equipment and storage media.
Audiovisual material includes recorded sound material and video material.
For recorded sound material and video material stored on electronic media, the provisions on electronic data apply.
Article 21: Evidence obtained lawfully by Internet information content management departments before the filing of a case may be considered as a basis to establish facts. Electronic data obtained through online inspections and other such methods, that are reliable, may be considered as a basis to establish facts, except where there are prohibiting statutory provisions.
The collection and extraction of electronic data shall conform to national standards, sectoral standards and technological norms, and the integrity, legality, accuracy and correlation of collected or extracted electronic data is to be ensured, otherwise, it may not be used as a basis to establish facts.
Article 22: Before Internet information content management departments file cases, they may adopt measures including inquiries, on-the-spot examinations, inspections, authentication, obtaining evidentiary materials, etc., they may not limit the personal and property rights of targets of preliminary inspection.
After Internet information content management departments file cases, they may adopt preliminary registration and preservation measures with regard to goods, facilities and premises.
Article 23: Internet information content management departments shall, in the process of handling cases, timely interview witnesses. Except for special cases, it is permitted to bring in witnesses to assist in the investigation.
Where law enforcement personnel engage in inquiries, they shall produce “Inquiry notes”, clearly indicating the time, place, relevant facts, process and other such matters. The inquiry notes shall be handed over to the counterpart of the inquiry or relevant persons for verification, and after it is verified they do not contain mistakes, the inquiry counterpart or relevant person shall sign or stamp every page of the notes, and indicate their opinion that the notes are accurate. Corrections in the notes shall be signed or stamped by the counterpart of the inquiry or relevant persons. The notes shall indicate the identity of law enforcement personnel, the title of their credentials, the number of their credentials, etc. Law enforcement personnel shall sign the notes.
Article 24: Internet information content management departments shall conduct on-the-spot examinations or inspections of the premises, goods and networks involved in unlawful Internet information content, and pay attention to collecting and determining written evidence, material evidence, audiovisual material as well as electronic data.
Article 25: Internet information content management departments may, in order to resolve certain specialist questions in cases, entrust the judicial expert evidence bodies to provide appraisals and opinions; where the matter does not fall under the scope of judicial expert evidence, they may entrust the matter to bodies having the abilities and conditions to provide a monitoring report or inspection report.
Article 26: Internet information content management departments may obtain evidentiary materials that can prove a case from work units and individuals, and may photography, film, copy or reproduce it as needed.
Obtained documentary evidence and material evidence shall be original. Where it is difficult to obtain original documents or materials, it is permitted that the relevant work unit or individual submitting the evidence signs their name on or stamps the reproduction, the phrase “this has been provided by xxx, and has been checked to be identical as the original document (material)” or a written explanation shall be provided, the date and source of the evidence shall be clearly noted, and it shall be sighed or stamped.
Obtained audiovisual material and electronic data shall be on the original carrier or back-up medium. Where it is difficult to obtain the original carrier or back-up medium, it is permitted to collect a copy, and the method of production, time of production, producer and other such matters shall be clearly indicated.
Internet information content management departments shall examine and verify obtained evidentiary materials and create records.
Article 27: Under circumstances where evidence might be lost or would be difficult to obtain at a later point in time, with the approval of the responsible persons in the Internet information content management department, law enforcement personnel are permitted to impose preliminary registered storage on computers, servers, hard drives, mobile storage devices, storage cadres and other such goods involved in suspected unlawful Internet information services according to the law, produce “Materials in Registered Storage List”, and provide a “Notification of Materials in Registered Storage” to the parties. During the period of preliminary registered storage, the parties may not destroy, remove or illegally transfer evidence.
When Internet information content management departments shall make one of the following handling decisions concerning evidence in preliminary registered storage within seven days:
(1) where it is necessary to adopt measures to preserve the evidence, returning it after adopting measures such as recording, reproduction, photography, videotaping and other such evidence preservation measures;
(2) where it is necessary to inspect, monitor or authenticate it, submitting it to a body with relevant qualifications for inspection, monitoring or authentication;
(3) where an unlawful fact is established, confiscating it according to the law, making an administrative punishment decision, and confiscating the unlawful goods;
(4) where an unlawful fact is not established, or an unlawful fact is established but nothing should be confiscated according to the law, the preliminary registered storage is ended.
Where no handling decision is made within this period, the preliminary registered storage shall be ended.
Article 29: For the sake of collecting and preserving electronic data, Internet information content management departments may adopt on-the-spot evidence gathering and long-distance evidence gathering, and order relevant work units and individuals fix and submit evidence, etc.
After the conclusion of on-the-spot evidence gathering and long-distance evidence gathering, “Electronic Evidence Gathering Work Records” shall be produced.
Article 30: During the process of investigation and evidence gathering, law enforcement personnel shall demand the parties to sign, fingerprint or stamp the records and relevant materials, or affirm them in another way. Where parties refuse to attend, refuse to sign, fingerprint, stamp or affirm them in another manner, or where it is impossible to locate the parties, two law enforcement ma personnel shall indicate the reasons on the records or other materials, and invite relevant persons to sign or stamp them in the capacity of witness, they may also record the matter using audio or video recording.
Article 31: After case investigations are concluded, the case handles shall write a “Case Handling Opinion Report”:
Where it is believed that an unlawful fact has been established, and administrative punishment should be imposed, they are to write a “Case Handling Opinion Report” and draft an administrative punishment suggestion letter.
Where one of the following conditions applies, they shall write a “Case Handling Opinion Report”, explain the reasons for their proposed course of action, and deal with the matter on the basis of individual circumstances, after approval by the Internet information content management department responsible person:
(1) where it is believed that unlawful facts have not been established, and the matter should be closed;
(2) where the details of the unlawful act are light, no negative results have arisen, and no administrative punishment is imposed;
(3) where the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of the body in question, and it shall be transferred to the jurisdiction of another administrative body;
(4) where a crime is suspected, and the case shall be transferred to the judicial bodies.
Article 32: Internet information content management departments shall, when carrying out case investigations, and where it has been established that evidence has proven the unlawful facts, issue a notification letter ordering rectification, to order the party to rectify the unlawful act, or rectify it within a limited time.
Chapter V: Hearings and meetings
Article 33: Before Internet information content management departments make administrative punishment decisions to cancel Internet news information service permits, relatively large fines (the standards for relatively large fine amounts are implemented according to the provisions of local regulations, local governmental rules and other such normative documents”, etc., they shall notify the party about their rights to demand the organization of a hearing. Where a party demands a hearing, they must put this forward within three days after receiving notification, and the Internet information content management department shall organize a hearing. Where a party does not demand a hearing within this time period, they shall be considered as having renounced this right.
Article 34: Internet information content management departments shall, 7 days before the hearing, issue a “Hearing Organization Notification Letter” to the party, to notify them about the time and address of the hearing. “Hearing Notes” shall be made of the hearing, and handed over to the party, who will sign or stamp them after verifying there are no mistakes.
Article 35: Internet information content management departments may, before imposing an administrative punishment decision on Internet information service providers or unlawful acts, carry out meetings with them on the basis of relevant regulations, and make “Law Enforcement Meeting Records” after the conclusion of talks.
Chapter VI: Punishment decisions and serving
Article 36: Before Internet information content management departments issue an administrative punishment decisions, they shall fill out an “Administrative Punishment Opinion Notification Letter”, to notify the parties about the unlawful facts, as well as the reasons and basis for the administrative punishment they intend to impose, as well as the fact that the parties enjoy the right to make a statement and plead their case according to the law.
Internet information content management departments shall fully hear the statements and defences of the parties. Where parties put forward facts, reasons and evidence that are reviewed and affirmed, these shall be included. Where the parties do not make a statement or plead their case within three working days after receiving the notification letter, they shall be considered as having renounced these rights.
Internet information content management departments may not aggravate punishment because of statements or defences made by parties.
Article 37: The intended administrative punishment decision shall be reported to the responsible person within the Internet information content management department for investigation. The Internet information content management department’s responsible person will, on the basis of different circumstances, respectively make the following decisions:
(1) where there truly is an unlawful act that should be subject of administrative subject, on the basis of the gravity of the circumstances and the concrete situation, issuing an administrative punishment decision;
(2) where the unlawful act is minor, and it is lawfully permitted to not impose administrative punishment, not imposing administrative punishment;
(3) where the unlawful act cannot be established, administrative punishment may not be imposed;
(4) where the unlawful act constitutes a crime, transferring it to the judiciary.
Article 38: Where circumstances are complex, or relatively severe administrative punishment is issued for grave unlawful acts, Internet information content management department responsible persons shall make the decision after collective discussion. The collective discussion decision-making process shall be recorded in writing.
Standards for complex circumstances and major cases will be determined by the Internet information content management department on the basis of the real situation.
Article 39: Internet information content management departments issuing an administrative punishment decision shall create a uniformly numbered “Administrative Punishment Decision Letter”.
The “Administrative Punishment Decision Letter” shall contain the following matters:
(1) the full name or corporate name of the parties, their addresses and other such basic matters;
(2) the facts and evidence of violations of laws, regulations and rules;
(3) the category of and basis for administrative punishment;
(4) the implementation method and time limit of administrative punishment;
(5) the channels and time limits to request administrative reconsideration or raise administrative lawsuits in case of disagreement with the administrative punishment decision;
(6) the name of the Internet information content management department issuing the punishment decision and the date of its issuance.
Where administrative punishment decisions involve the confiscation of assets, documentation concerning the confiscated assets shall also be included.
The “Administrative Punishment Decision Letter” shall carry the stamp of the Internet information content management department issuing the decision.
Article 40: An “Administrative Punishment Decision Letter” shall be handed over to the party on the spot after an announcement; where the party is not present, according to the relevant provisions of the civil procedure law, the “Administrative Punishment Decision Letter” shall be handed over to the party within seven days.
Chapter VII: Execution and case closure
Article 41: After an “Administrative Punishment Decision Letter” is delivered, the parties shall implement it within the time limits stipulated in the punishment decision.
Where the parties are truly in economic difficulty, they may put forward a request to defer the payment of fines, or pay them in instalments, and submit written materials. After examination and verification by the case handlers, a period of deferral or a time limit and financial amount for payment by instalments is determined, this is executed after being reported to and approved by relevant responsible persons within the Internet information content management department.
Article 42: Where Internet information service providers violate the relevant laws, regulations and rules, and it is necessary that the telecommunications controlling department closes websites, cancels Internet information service value-added telecommunications business permits or cancels filing numbers, the telecommunications controlling department will decide implementation on the basis of the written opinion provided by the Internet information content management department.
Article 43: The parties have the right to make a statement and plead their case with regard to administrative punishment imposed by the Internet information content management department, where they disagree with the administrative punishment decision, they have the power to request administrative reconsideration or raise an administrative lawsuit according to the law.
Where the parties disagree with an administrative punishment decision and request administrative reconsideration or raise an administrative lawsuit, the implementation of the administrative punishment does not cease, except where law provides otherwise.
Article 44: Where parties do not request administrative reconsideration or raise an administrative lawsuit within the statutory time limits, and also do not implement the administrative punishment decision, the Internet information content management department that imposed the administrative punishment may request the People’s Courts to implement it compulsorily.
Before Internet information content management departments request that the People’s Courts implement [a decision] compulsorily, they shall fill out a “Compellance Letter for the Execution of an Administrative Punishment Decision”, to compel the parties to carry out their duties, and notify them about the time limit and method for carrying out their duties, and the right to make a statement and plead their case that they enjoy according to the law, where the matter involves an additional fine, the fine amount and payment method shall be clearly indicated.
The total amount of additional fines may not exceed the amount of the original fine.
Where a party makes a statement or pleads their case, the Internet information content management department shall record and review the facts, reasons and evidence that the party provides, and produce records of the statement or defence, and a statement or defence review opinion letter. Where the facts, reasons or evidence are confirmed, the Internet information content management department shall adopt them.
Where the parties have still not implemented the punishment decision tend working days after the “Compellance Letter for the Execution of an Administrative Punishment Decision” is issued, the Internet information content management department may request that the People’s Court implement it compulsorily, and will out an “Administrative Punishment Compulsory Implementation Application Letter”.
Article 45: After administrative punishment decisions have been carried out or executed, the case handlers shall fill out an “Administrative Punishment Closure Report” arrange and bind together all relevant case materials, and file them.
Chapter VIII: Supplementary provisions
Article 46: In the time limits in these Regulations that are calculated in hours or days, the starting hour or day is not to be included. Where the last day of a time limit is a holiday, the first day after the holiday will be the expiry date. Except where relevant provisions in laws or regulations provide otherwise.
Article 47: “more”, “less” and “within” as used in these Regulations, includes the basic number.
Article 48: The national Internet information content management department is responsible for the formulation of the form and model of documents used in administrative punishments. All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information content management departments may, with reference to the form and model of these documents, formulate document forms for use for administrative punishment in their administrative areas and print them on their own initiative.
Article 49: These regulations take effect on (day, month, year).
第十四条 互联网信息内容管理部门应当对下列事项及时调查处理, 并填写《案件来源登记表》（格式见附件1）：
第四十九条 本规定自 年 月 日起施行。