Ministry of Culture Notice Regarding Strengthening Regulation Online Gaming Operations

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Title: Ministry of Culture Notice Regarding Strengthening Regulation Online Gaming Operations  
Promulgating Entities:Ministry of Culture
Reference number: Culture Market Release (2016) No. 32
Promulgation Date: 2016-12-1
Expiration date: 
Source of text: http://www.mcprc.gov.cn/whzx/bnsjdt/whscs/201612/t20161205_464422.html

Culture Market Release (2016) No. 32

All provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality's Departments of Culture (Bureaus); the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Bureau of Culture, Radio and Television; and administrative law enforcement teams for the Tibet autonomous region, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing (comprehensive) law enforcement teams for cultural markets:

In recent years, China's online gaming industry has developed rapidly, and has palyed an active role in developing the online cultural marketplace, enriching the people's cultural and entertainment activities, expanding and leading cultural spending, and other such areas. However, problems such as unclarity regarding online game business operators' responsibilities, indirect accruing of costs, and ineffective protection of users rights and interests, are becoming increasingly prominent. Notice of the following matters is hereby given on the basis "The Internet Information Services Management Measures", the "Provisional Rules on Internet Cultural Management", and "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Gaming" and other laws and regulations, to further regulate order in the online gaming marketplace, to protect the lawful rights and interests of consumers and enterprises, and to promote the healthy and orderly development of the online gaming industry:

1. Clarify the scope of online gaming operations

(1) Online gaming operations refers to online gaming operations enterprises conduct providing the public with gaming products or services through methods such as registering network game accounts or providing online game downloads, and obtaining profit through charging users fees or electronic commerce, advertising, sponsorship or other such methods.

(2) Online gaming operations enterprises' carrying out of online gaming technology measurements through methods such as open user registration, open online game payment systems, and providing direct registration and login servers client software; is part of online gaming operations.

(3) Online gaming operations enterprises' provision of user systems, payment systems, program downloads, and promotional services for other businesses online gaming products, and participating in the online gaming operations' revenue sharing, is joint operations conduct and shall bear corresponding responsibility.

2. Regulating distribution services for virtual items in online gaming

(4) Virtual items distributed by online gaming operations enterprises, directly purchased by users with legal tender, purchased with online games' virtual currency, or obtained according to a set exchange rate and have a direct exchange rate for other virtual items or value-added services; are to be managed in accordance with provisions related to online games' virtual currencies.

(5) When online gaming operations businesses modify the online games version, increase the variey of virtual items, adjust the functionality and usage of virtual items, or hold temporary activities, they shall promptly announce the affected virtual items' names, functions, price, exchange rate, efficacy period, and the means of giving, transferring, or trading it, and other such information, on the games' official homepage or in a conspicuous place within the game.

(6) Where online gaming operations enterprises use random drawings to provide virtual items or value-added services, they must not require users to directly participate through methods such as adding legal tender or online games' virtual currency. Online gaming operations shall promptly display the name, properties, content and quantity of all virtual items or value-added services that might be drawn or put together, as well as the odds of drawing or putting them together, on their official website or the page for the drawing. The information displayed about random drawings shall be truthful and valid.

(7) Online gaming operations enterprises shall announce the results of random drawings for obtained by participants on the official website or in a conspicuous position in the game, and store the relevant records for relevant departments' inquiries; and the period for keeping records is not to be less than 90 days. When announcing the results of random drawings, set measures shall be taken to protect users privacy.

(8) When online gaming operations enterprises provide virtual items or value-added services through random drawings, they shall also provide users with other methods for obtaining the same type of virtual item or value-added services such as exchanging other virtual items or directly purchasing with online games' virtual currency.

(9) Online gaming operations enterprises must not provide services exchanging online games' virtual currency for legal tender or physical objects, except where online gaming operations enterprises cease the provision of online gaming products and services and use legal tender or other means acceptable to users to return unused virtual currency.

(10) Online gaming operations enterprises must not provide services exchanging virtual items for legal tender, and where providing users exchange of virtual items for small value physical objects, the content and price of the physical items shall comply with relevant State laws and regulations.

3. Strengthening Rights Protections for nline Gaming Users

(11) Online gaming operations enterprises shall require online game users to carry out a real name registration using a valid identification document, and save the use registration information; and they must not provide game users who are logged-in as visitors with in-game charging or purchasing services.

(12) Online gaming operations enterprises shall restrict the value of single charges by online game users in a single game, and send requests for information verification when users make charges or purchases. Included in the information for verification shall be the amount of legal tender or virtual currency in the charge or purchase, the name of the virtual item or value-added services obtained, and other such content as well as language on rational spending on entertainment. Online gaming operations enterprises shall store records of users' charges and purchases for at least 180 days.

(13) Online gaming operations enterprises shall strictly implement relevant provisions of the "Parental controls for juvenile online gaming project". On the basis of implementing the "Parental controls for juvenile online gaming project", advocate online gaming business units setting up spending limits on juvenile users, limit juveniles' gaming time, and employ technological measures to block scenes and functionality.

(14) Online gaming operations enterprises shall display user rights protection contact methods in a prominent place in the game. When online game users lawful rights and interests are violated or when they have conflicts users, online game business units may request the users present valid identification that matches their registration information. Where it is found accurate, they shall assist the users in collecting evidence. Online gaming business units bear responsibility for presenting evidence to users with verified real name registration.

(15) Online gaming operations enterprises should employ effective measures to protect users personal information and to prevent users information from being leaked or harmed, and must not use any means to provide any third party enterprise or individual with user information without authorization.

4. Strengthen registration and management before and during online gaming operations affairs.

(16) All areas' cultural administration departments and comprehensive law enforcement organs for cultural markets should fully utilize coordination mechanisms for law enforcement in the online cultural marketplace, to fully implement "double random, one public" [双随机一公开] supervision and management of online gaming. They should continuously increase the level of efforts to randomly sample online games, and should increase the frequency of random sampling and routine inspections of online gaming business units, for focused supervision. Investigation results should be promptly announced to the public.

(17) All areas' cultural administration departments and comprehensive law enforcement organs for the the cultural marketplace should lawfully strengthen credit supervision of the online gaming marketplace, following the principle of 'entering all those who are punished" to enter online gaming business units that violate laws or rules into a black list or warning list, and working together with relevant departments to implement joint disciplinary action, strengthening credit constraints against online gaming business units and related responsible persons who violate laws and rules.

(18) All levels of cultural administration departments and comprehensive law enforcement organs for the the cultural marketplace should strengthen guidance, service, and training for online gaming business units within their jurisdictions. Provincial cultural administration departments should promptly organize and guide enterprises to carry out training on policies and regulations and industry regulation, periodically reviewing enterprises' self-inspection of content, operations regulations, and relevant systems; and promptly providing administrative guidance to online gaming business units.

5. Strict investigation of operations in violation of laws of rules.

(19) Where online gaming operations enterprises engage in the activities provided for in items (1),(2),or(3) of this Notice, operates an online game that has not received an approval number or without obtaining a record number in the designated time period, the cultural administration department at the county level or above or comprehensive law enforcement organ for the cultural marketplace is to follow articles 30 and 34 of the "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games" to investigate; and where they obtain profits by providing downloads of online games, or through methods such as e-commerce, advertising, or sponsorship; follow articles 27 and 28 of the "Temporary Provisions on Internet Cultural Administration" to investigate.

(20) Where online gaming operations enterprises engage in virtual currency dissemination services provided for in item (4) of this Notice, articles 6, 18, 19, and 20 of the "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games" shall be obeyed, and where relevant provisions are violated, the cultural administration departments or comprehensive law enforcement organ for the cultural marketplace at the county level or above are to investigate in accordance with "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games."

(21) Where online gaming operations enterprises violate the relevant provisions of items (5),(6),(7),or(8) of this Notice, the cultural administration department at the county level or above or comprehensive law enforcement organ for the cultural marketplace is to follow article 31 of the "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games" to investigate.

(22) Where online gaming operations enterprises violate the relevant provisions of item (9) of this Notice, the cultural administration department at the county level or above or comprehensive law enforcement organ for the cultural marketplace is to follow article 32 of the "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games" to investigate.

(23) Where online gaming operations enterprises violate the relevant provisions of item (10) of this Notice, the cultural administration department at the county level or above or comprehensive law enforcement organ for the cultural marketplace is to follow article 33 of the "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games" to investigate.

(24) Where online gaming operations enterprises violate the relevant provisions of item (10) of this Notice, the cultural administration department at the county level or above or comprehensive law enforcement organ for the cultural marketplace is to follow article 34 of the "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games" to investigate.

(25) Where online gaming operations enterprises violate the relevant provisions of item (13) of this Notice, the cultural administration department at the county level or above or comprehensive law enforcement organ for the cultural marketplace is to follow article 31 of the "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games" to investigate.

(26) Where online gaming business units violate the relevant provisions of items (12) or (14) of this Notice, the cultural administration department at the county level or above or comprehensive law enforcement organ for the cultural marketplace is to follow article 35 of the "Temporary Measures for the Management of Online Games" to investigate.

This Notice shall go into effect May 1, 2017.

Notice is hereby given.

Ministry of Culture

December 1, 2016

 

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