Article 1: In order to further raise the standardization and scientization levels of Internet news information service licence management, and stimulate the healthy and orderly development of Internet news information services, on the basis of the “Administrative Licensing Law of the People’s Republic of China” and the “Internet News Information Service Management Regulations” (hereafter simply named “Regulations”), these Implementing Rules are formulated.
Article 2: These Implementing Rules apply to national and provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information offices’ implementation of Internet news information service licensing.
Article 3: For the provision of Internet news information services to the public through Internet sites, application software, forums, blogs, microblogs, public accounts, instant messaging tools, online streaming and other such forms, an Internet news information service licence shall be obtained, it is prohibited to carry out Internet news information service activities without a licence or in excess of a licence’s scope.
Article 4: Internet news information services include Internet news information gathering and dissemination services, reprinting services and dissemination platform services.
Specifically, gathering and dissemination services refers to services of collecting, editing, producing and disseminating news information; reprinting services refers to services of selecting, editing and disseminating news information already published by other subjects; dissemination platform services refers to services of providing platforms for users to disseminate news information services.
Those obtaining permission to provide Internet news information gathering and dissemination services may at the same time provide Internet news information reprinting services. Those obtaining permission to provide Internet news information dissemination platform services and planning to provide gathering and dissemination services or reprinting services at the same time shall obtain an Internet news information gathering and dissemination, or reprinting service licence according to the Law.
Article 5: Those applying for an Internet news information service licence shall meet the following conditions:
(1) being a legal person lawfully established within the territory of the People’s Republic of China
(2) the main responsible person and editor-in-chief are Chinese citizens;
(3) having specialist news editing personnel, content inspection personnel and technological protection personnel suited to the service;
(4) having complete Internet news information service management structures;
(5) having complete information security management structures and secure and controllable technological protection measures;
(6) having the premises, facilities and funding suited to the service.
Specifically, those applying for an Internet news information gathering and dissemination licence shall be news work units (including work units share-controlled by news work units) or work units controlled by news and propaganda departments. News work units refers to newspaper or periodical publishers, radio stations, television stations, news agencies and news film studios established lawfully and with permission of relevant state departments. Share-controlled means a proportion of over 50% of the capital contribution value, or the proportion of stock held in the total value of corporate capital, or the total share value, or, where even though the proportion in capital contribution value or held stock is less than 50%, the capital contribution value or held stock is sufficient to engender major influence on corporate decision-making. News and propaganda departments include all levels’ propaganda departments, cybersecurity and informatization departments, radio and television departments, etc.
No organization may establish Sino-foreign contractual or collaborative joint ventures or foreign-managed Internet news information service work units.
Article 6: Those applying for an Internet news information service licence on the basis of Article 10 of the “Regulations” shall submit the following application materials:
(1) Proof that the main responsible persons and editor-in-chief are Chinese citizens. This includes copies of the identity documents of main responsible persons and editor-in-chief;
(2) A review of the qualification of specialist news editing personnel, content inspection personnel and technical protection personnel. This includes the basic situation of relevant personnel, as well as a journalist card uniformly issued by the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television, proof of employment in news work units, relevant training certificates and other such materials, concrete personnel quantities shall be suited to the provided services;
(3) Management structures for Internet news information services. This includes website editor-in-chief structures, personnel training and assessment structures, etc.;
(4) Information security management structures and technological protection measures. This includes information dissemination inspection structures, public information inspection patrol structures, emergency response structures, user personal information protection structures, etc.,. as well as corresponding technological protection measures.
(5) An Internet news information service security assessment report. A security assessment report by relevant departments or bodies with relevant qualifications concerning the information security management structures and technological protection measures of the applicant;
(6) Proof of legal person status, premises and finances. This includes copies of an enterprise’s business licence, undertaking work units’ legal person certificates, property right certificates of service premises, rental contracts and other such materials;
(7) An Internet news information service licence application letter. This includes an application form as well as an explanation of the intended concrete service provision, service plans, etc.
Article 7: Those applying for an Internet news information gathering and dissemination service licence shall, apart from submitting the application materials provided in Article 6 of these Implementing Rules, also submit proof that the work unit in question or the party of which it controls the shares is a news work unit, or proof that their controlling work unit is a news or propaganda department together with an opinion of the said controlling work unit. Specifically, news work unit proof includes a “Newspaper Publishing Licence”, a “Radio and Television Broadcasting Body Licence”, a “Periodical Publishing Licence” (those holding a “Periodical Publishing Licence” shall have “news information” services as mentioned in Article 2 of the “Regulations” as their main business activity) etc.; the content of the controlling work unit’s opinion mainly includes an explanation of the relationship between the applicant and the said controlling work unit, an opinion assessing whether or not the applicant meets licensing conditions, as well as the stamp of the work unit.
Those applying for an Internet news information dissemination platform service shall, apart from submitting the application materials provided in Article 6 of these Implementing Rules, also submit the platform’s account user management regulations and structures, user agreement templates, complaints reporting and handling mechanisms, etc.
Where the applicant is an enterprise legal person, it shall, apart from submitting the application materials provided in Article 6 of these Implementing Rules, also provide the following materials concerning shareholding rights:
(1) A shareholding structure map. This includes the names of shareholders, the shareholding proportions, fund-raising method, fund-raising times and other such information. Where shareholders are not natural person subjects, they must progressively be traced back to natural persons, undertaking work units as well as exclusively State-owned enterprises, and the situation of actual controlling persons must be explained. The shareholding structure map must carry the work unit stamp, and be signed by the legal representative;
(2) Proof of shareholders. Where shareholders are natural persons, their identity proof materials must be provided; where shareholders are non-natural person subject, the subject’s name, organization method, statutory representative and other such materials must be provided;
(3) The company’s articles of association. This includes the company’s articles of association as well as previous revision decisions;
(4) A letter of commitment of no foreign capital. A written commitment by the applicant that all shareholders in the shareholding structure map are not made up of foreign-invested components;
(5) Opinion letters by specialist bodies. Written proof by a law firm or accounting firm that the abovementioned shareholding materials are accurate, correct and complete, including financial audit reports, legal opinion documents and other such materials.
Article 8: On the basis of Article 7 of the “Regulations” Internet news information service work units’ cooperations with domestic or foreign Sino-foreign cooperative or collaborative joint ventures of enterprises run by foreign capital to engage in business activities involving Internet news information services, shall be reported to the State Internet Information Office for security assessment, and the following materials shall be submitted:
(1) The circumstances of the intended collaborating enterprise. This includes an introduction of the basic circumstances of the said enterprises, its business licence and other such proof of legal person status;
(2) The circumstances of the intended collaborative activities. This includes a letter of intent of collaboration, collaborative development plans, collaborate feasibility analysis reports and other such materials.
Where controlling work units are news and propaganda work units, an opinion from the said controlling work unit on the matter in question shall also be submitted.
Where collaboration between Internet news information service work units domestic or foreign Sino-foreign cooperative or collaborative joint ventures of enterprises run by foreign capital to engage in business activities involving Internet news information services may lead to Internet news information service work units no longer conforming to licensing conditions, it will not pass security assessment.
Article 9: National and provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information offices shall, after receiving application materials, handle the matter on the basis of circumstances and according to the law:
(1) Where application materials are complete and conform to requirements, acceptance is granted;
(2) Where application materials are not complete or do not conform to requirements, the applicant is notified once on the spot or within five working days about content that should be changed or supplemented;
(3) Where an Internet news information service licence is not required according to the law, acceptance is not granted, the applicant is notified immediately, and the application materials are returned;
(4) Where application items do not fall into the scope of [administrative power] powers, a decision of non-acceptance shall be timely made, and the applicant is notified to apply with the relevant administrative bodies.
Article 10: After lawful acceptance, national, provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information offices will, according to the provisions of Article 5, Article 6 and Article 7 of these Implementing Rules, examine and verify the application materials, including whether the applicant conforms to licensing conditions, and whether the materials are accurate.
During the process of examination and verification national, provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information offices may, on the basis of actual circumstances, interview the applicant’s main responsible persons and editor-in-chief, go to the filed website location, actual business location, location of website servers and other such relevant localities to conduct on-the-spot inspections.
Article 11: National and provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information offices shall, on the basis of Article 42 of the “Administrative Licensing Law”, make a decision of approval or non-approval according to the law and within the stipulated time period. Those approved are issued with an “Internet News Information Service Licence”.
Provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information offices shall, within seven working days of making an approval decision, report the relevant circumstances to the State Internet Information Office (CAC).
Article 12: On the basis of Article 17 of the “Regulations”, Internet news information service providers modifying the following matters shall, within seven working days of the modification, carry out modification formalities with the original licensing body:
(1) Modification of a company’s articles of association, service premises, website name, access service provider and other such matters;
(2) Modification of editor-in-chief, main responsible persons, shareholding structure, website address and other such affairs, or conducting public offerings, mergers or separations;
Specifically, where the Modification of editor-in-chief, main responsible persons, shareholding structure, website address and other such affairs, or conducting public offerings, mergers or separations leads to a situation where Internet news information service providers no longer are in conformity with licensing conditions, punishment will be imposed according to Article 23 of the “Regulations”.
Internet news information service providers adding new service categories shall obtain corresponding licences according to Article 6 of the “Regulations”.
Article 13: Internet news information service providers applying to carry out modification formalities related to Article 12 of these Implementing Rules, shall submit the following materials to the original licensing body:
(1) A modification application letter. This includes the matters of which modification is applied, the reason for modification as well as other issues that require explanation, it also carries the stamp of the work unit;
(2) Materials on the modified matters. Submit an explanation and proof materials for concrete modified matters, including the basic situation of changed personnel, their qualification letters, proof of employment or the post-modification business licence, corporate articles of association, rental contracts, etc., this also carries the stamp of the work unit.
Those changing shareholding structures shall, according to the provisions of Article 7 of these Implementing Rules, provide corresponding shareholding materials. Where the matter involves a public offering, concrete implementation plans for the public offering, a plan for listing on the “New Three Board” as well as matters concerning strategic investment bodies shall also be provided.
Where modifications affect matters indicated on the licence, the original licence shall be submitted.
Article 14: The period of validity of the “Internet News Information Service Licence” is three years. Where the period of validity ends, and it is desired to continue to engage in Internet news information service activities, application formalities should be carried out with the original issuing body, according to the licensing procedure, thirty days before the end of the period of validity, the following materials shall also be submitted:
(1) A licensing extension application letter. This includes an explanation of the business circumstances hitherto, an explanation of matters relevant to the conditions in Article 5 of these Implementing Rules, as well as other matters that require explanation, it also carries the stamp of the work unit;
(2) The original licence.
Where the controlling work unit is a press or propaganda department, an opinion from the said controlling department shall also be submitted.
Where the period of validity of the “Internet News Information Service Licence” expires, and extension formalities have not been carried out according to the law, it is prohibited to continue to provide Internet news information services, and the original licence will become invalid.
Article 15: On the basis of Article 9 of the “Administrative Licensing Law”, the Internet news information service licence may not be transferred. Internet news information service providers may not transfer licences without authorization for reasons such as business restructuring, merger, separation, etc.
Article 16: Where Internet news information service providers terminate services, they shall carry out cancellation formalities with the original licencing body within 30 days of terminating services, and submit the following materials:
(1) A termination application letter. This includes the reason for termination and other issues that require explanation, and carries the stamp of the work unit.
(2) The original licence.
Article 17: According to Article 19 of the “Regulations”, national and local Internet information offices establish spot checks, assessments and other such supervision and management structures integrating daily inspections and periodical inspections, to strengthen supervision and management over Internet news information service activities, relevant work units and individuals shall cooperate.
Supervision inspection results are made public according to the law, social supervision will be accepted.
Article 18: These Implementing Rules take effect simultaneously with the “Regulations”.