Provisions on Management of Internet News Services

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This translation was taken in full with permission from Rogier Creemers’ website China Copyright and Media. The translation may continue to evolve through regular use of this site, and Rogier is not responsible for any subsequent changes.

(Draft Revisions for Soliciation of Comments)

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: In order to standardize Internet news information service activities, stimulate the healthy and orderly development of Internet news information services, protect the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations, safeguard national security and the public interests, on the basis of the “National People’s Congress Standing Committee Decision concerning Strengthening the Protection of Online Information” and the “Internet Information Service Management Rules” and other such laws and administrative regulations, these Rules are formulated.

Article 2: These Rules apply to the conduct of Internet news information services within the borders of the People’s Republic of China.

Internet news information as mentioned in these Rules, refers to current affairs-type news information, including reporting and commenting on politics, economics, military affairs, foreign affairs and other such social and public matters, as well as reporting and commenting on relevant sudden social incidents.

Article 3: The conduct of Internet news information services shall abide by the provisions of the Constitution, laws and administrative regulations, persist in the orientation of serving the people and serving Socialism, persist in the correct public opinion orientation, uphold the Socialist core value view, and safeguard the national interest and the public interest.

Article 4: The Cyberspace Administration of China is responsible for Internet news information service supervision and management work nationwide. All local Internet information offices are responsible for the Internet news information service supervision and management work within their own administrative areas.

Article 5: Internet news information service sector organizations shall establish and complete sectoral self-discipline structures, guide Internet news information service providers to establish and complete service norms, urge Internet news information service providers to provide services and accept social supervision according to the law, and raise the professional cultivation of Internet news information service employees.

Chapter II: Licensing

Article 6: An Internet news information service licence shall be obtained for the provision of news information gathering, editing, publication and dissemination services to society through Internet sites, application software, forums, blogs, microblogs, instant messaging tools and search engines, as well as other applications having news, public opinion or social mobilization functions.

Management rules for Internet news information service providers setting up local channels will be formulated separately by the Cyberspace Administration.

Article 7: Those applying to provide Internet news information services shall meet the following conditions:

(1) The main responsible persons and editor-in-chief are Chinese citizens;

(2) having complete service plans;

(3) having complete information security management structures and technological protection measures;

(4) having full-time news editing personnel, news certification personnel and technological protection personnel suited to the service;

(5) having the premises, equipment and funds suited to the service.

Those applying to provide Internet news information gathering, editing and dissemination services shall be news work units, or their holding party or controlling work unit shall be a news or propaganda work unit.

Those applying to provide Internet news information reprinting or dissemination platform services shall be legal persons who have been lawfully established for over two years and engage in Internet information services, and have not been subject to administrative punishment due to violation of Internet information service management regulations in the last year.

Article 8: Those obtaining permission to provide Internet news information gathering, editing and publication services may launch Internet news information reprinting services.

Article 9: Those applying to provide Internet news information services, apart from meeting the conditions provided in Article 7 of these Rules, shall also conform to State demands concerning the structure and composition of the Internet news information service sector’s development.

Article 10: No organization may establish Sino-foreign joint venture enterprises, Sino-foreign collaborative enterprises, or foreign-invested enterprises to engage in Internet news information services.

Internet news information service providers that collaborate with foreign investors to conduct Internet news information service business cooperation shall report the matter to the Cyberspace Administration for security assessment.

Article 11: Where application subjects that apply to conduct Internet news information services are Central news and propaganda work units, or their controlling work unit or holding party is a Central news and propaganda work unit, the Cyberspace Administration accepts, examines and approves the matter; where application subjects are local news and propaganda work units, or their controlling work unit or holding party is a local news and propaganda work unit, the provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information office accepts, examines and approves the matter; where the application subject is another work unit, after preliminary examination by the local provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information office, the Cyberspace Administration examines and approves the matter.

Article 12: Those applying for an Internet news information service license shall submit the following application materials:

(1) a letter of request for an Internet news information service licence;

(2) a description of the application (including service premises, facilities, shareholding structures and financial statements);

(3) service plans (including service categories, service methods, business forms, the scope of the service etc.);

(4) proof that the main responsible persons and the editor-in-chief are Chinese citizens;

(5) the situation concerning full-time newsgathering and editing personnel, news examination and verification personnel and technological protection personnel;

(6) the information security management structure and technological protection measures;

(7) assessment reports issued by information technology security evaluation bodies;

(8) the basic situation of access providers and access service agreements;

(9) a letter of commitment to strictly abide by the relevant responsibilities and duties outlined in these Rules.

Those applying for an Internet news information gathering, editing and publishing service licence shall also submit proof that their sponsoring, controlling or holding party is a news and propaganda work unit as well as an opinion from that news and propaganda work unit; those applying to provide Internet news information reprinting or dissemination platform services shall also submit an indication that they have not been subject to administrative punishment for violating Internet information service management regulations within the previous year, and have engaged in Internet information service activities in the previous two years.

Article 13: The Cyberspace Administration and provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices shall examine the application materials submitted by the applicant. Where the application matters fall within their scope of competence and the application materials are complete and conform with the statutory form, the Cyberspace Administration and provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices shall accept the matter within five working days after receipt of the application materials.

Article 14: The Cyberspace Administration and provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices shall make a decision within twenty working days after receipt of the application.

Where the local provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information office conducts a preliminary examination of the application, provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices shall issue a preliminary opinion within five working days after receipt of the application and report it to the Cyberspace Administration. The Cyberspace Administration shall make a decision within twenty working days after receipt of the application from a provincial, autonomous region or directly controlled municipalities' cyberspace administration.

Where the Cyberspace Administration and provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices do not make a decision within twenty working days, with the approval of the responsible person of that body, an extension of ten working days may be granted.

Article 15: Provincial, autonomous region and municipal Internet information offices shall regularly report on licensing acceptance and decisions to the state internet information office.

The Cyberspace Administration and provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices shall, according to the law, publish the Internet news information service licensing situation to society.

Chapter III: Operations

Article 16: Internet news information service providers shall clearly indicate their licence number.

Article 17: Internet news information service providers shall establish an editor-in-chief responsibility system, install an editor-in-chief, the editor-in-chief has overall responsibility for Internet news information content.

Article 18: Internet news information service providers shall establish and complete structures for information dissemination examination and verification, real-time public information inspection, emergency response and handling and other such information security management structures, and shall adopt security protection measures.

Article 19: Where Internet news information service providers provide news information dissemination platform services, they shall conclude agreements with the registered account users of their platforms, clearly stipulating the rights and obligations of both sides.

Where platform users engage in the provision of news information services to the public and set up public accounts, Internet news information service providers shall examine and verify the matter, and file it in a categorized manner with the provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information office.

Article 20: Internet news information service providers shall establish structures for public complaints and reports, to accept complaints and reports. Internet news information service providers shall timely deal with complaints and reports from citizens, legal persons and other organizations, and provide feedback on the results.

Where citizens, legal persons or other organizations discover that the information provided by Internet news information service providers contains content violating the provisions of Article 3 and Article 24 Paragraph I of these Rules, they may file a complaint or report with the Internet news information service provider, the corresponding sectoral organization as well as all levels’ Internet information offices.

Article 21: Internet news information service providers shall establish employee training and assessment structures.

Internet news information service employees shall participate in training and assessment organized by the Cyberspace Administration or organized by provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices on its behalf.

Article 22: Where Internet news information service providers reprint Internet news information, they shall reprint news information published by Central news work units or provincial, autonomous region or municipal directly subordinate news work units as well as work units determined by the Cyberspace Administration.

Where Internet news information service providers reprint news information, it shall be complete and accurate, they may not distort or alter the meaning of headlines and the content of the news information, they shall indicate the source, the original writer, the original title and the real name of the editor in a clear position, and ensure that the source of news information can be traced.

Article 23: Where Internet news information service providers provide Internet news information dissemination platform services to users, they shall demand that users provide real identity information according to the “National People’s Standing Committee Decision concerning Strengthening the Protection of Online Information”, users shall cooperate in this.

Internet news information service providers collecting user identity information shall indicate the collection rules and retention period in advance; user information outside of the provisions of the previous clause may only be collected with the agreement of the user.

Article 24: Internet news information service providers and users may not produce, reproduce, disseminate or reprint information with content as provided in Article 15 of the “Internet Information Service Management Rules”.

Internet news information service providers shall indicate that users may not violate the provisions of the previous clause at the time of providing the service.

Article 25: Where Internet news information service providers, in the process of providing services, discover Internet news information with content violating the provisions of Article 3 or Article 24 Paragraph I of these Rules, they shall adopt measures including deletion, according to the “National People’s Standing Committee Decision concerning Strengthening the Protection of Online Information”, preserve relevant record, and immediately report the matter to the Cyberspace Administration or local Internet information offices.

Article 26: Where all levels’ Internet information offices accept reports concerning Internet news information content violating the provisions of Article 3 or Article 24 Paragraph I of these Rules, they shall notify the Internet news information service provider so the latter can deal with it.

Internet news information service providers shall, after receiving notification, immediately adopt deletion and other such measures, preserve relevant records, and provide them when relevant State departments inquire into them according to the law. All levels’ Internet information offices shall, according to the “National People’s Congress Standing Committee Decision concerning Strengthening the Protection of Online Information”, adopt technological measures and other necessary measures to prevent and curb the dissemination of Internet news information violating the provisions of Article 3 and Article 24 Paragraph I of these Rules.

Article 27: Internet news information service providers shall record the Internet news information disseminated or reprinted by the service provider or its users, and preserve these records for 60 days. Internet news information service providers shall record daily information, and preserve these records for 60 days.

Internet news information service providers shall preserve the information referred to in the previous Paragraph within the borders, and provide them when relevant State departments inquire into them according to the law.

Article 28: All levels’ Internet information offices and their personnel have a duty to maintain the secrecy of user identity information and daily information that they encounter in the process of exercising their duties, they may not leak, alter or illegally damage it, and may not sell or illegally provide it to other persons.

Article 29: Internet news information service providers and users may not produce, publish or disseminate information enabling the identification of other persons or affecting the privacy of other persons, except where laws or administrative regulations provide otherwise, or with the agreement of the party concerned.

Article 30: Internet news information service employees engaging in news gathering activities shall hold a uniform State-issued journalist card.

Internet news information service providers’ newsgathering and editing activities shall be separated from their commercial activities. Newsgathering and editing departments and their personnel may not engage in advertising and other such commercial activities.

Internet news information service providers and their employees may not seek improper gain through gathering, disseminating, reprinting or deleting news information, interfering with search results, interfering with presentation sequences on dissemination platforms and other such methods.

Article 31: Where Internet news information service providers change their main responsible persons, editor-in-chief, business premises, URL, website name, access provider and other such matters, or engage in mergers or separations, they shall apply to conduct modification procedures with the original licence-issuing body.

Article 32: Where Internet news information service providers terminate services, they shall conduct cancellation formalities with the original licence-issuing body within twenty working days of the termination of service.

Chapter IV: Oversight and Inspection

Article 33: All levels’ Internet information offices shall establish supervision and management structures that integrate daily supervision and inspection and regular inspections, and strengthen supervision and inspection of Internet news information service activities.

Article 34: All levels’ Internet information offices may, when conducting supervision and inspection of Internet news information service activities, require Internet news information service providers to provide corresponding materials, enter into Internet news information service providers’ business and service premises for inspections, investigations and evidence-gathering, Internet news information service providers shall cooperate in this.

Article 35: All levels’ Internet information offices shall perfect law enforcement team structures, establish and complete law enforcement personnel credential management systems, and provide training and assessment for law enforcement personnel.

All levels of internet news information offices conducting inspections, investigations and collection of evidence on internet new information service activities, and also carrying out other enforcement activities, shall have two or more enforcement personnel participate, and the enforcement personnel shall actively present their enforcement certificates and record the relevant circumstances of enforcement.

Article 36: The Cyberspace Administration and provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices shall establish Internet news information service online credit files and a trust-breaking blacklist system, to conduct credit evaluation of Internet news information service providers and record their credit rank, Internet news information service providers where grave issues of trust-breaking exist will be listed on the blacklist. Internet news information service online credit files shall be open to society.

Article 37: Where all levels’ Internet information offices discover that Internet news information service providers have not timely set up measures to deal with unlawful information or implement supervision and management, they may arrange a talk with the main responsible persons, legally-designated representative and editor-in-chief.

[These] talks are entered into the Internet news information service provider’s online news information service credit file.

Article 38: Internet news information service providers shall establish convenient, 24 hours reporting channels, and allocate full-time personnel suited to the scale of the service, to accept and deal with reports from the public concerning unlawful or harmful content present in that work unit’s Internet news information services, and notify the reporting channels and reporting methods in a clear manner.

Where any organization or individual discovers Internet news information service providers commit acts violating these Rules, they may report the matter with all levels’ Internet information offices. All levels’ Internet information offices shall publish report acceptance methods to society, and deal with reported matters according to the law.

Chapter V: Legal Responsibility

Article 39: Where any levels’ Internet information offices or their employees violate these Rules, commit dereliction of duty, abuse their powers, engage in favoritism or use their position to demand or accept other persons’ assets, the directly responsible person in charge and other directly responsible persons will be punished according to the law; where the matter constitutes a crime, criminal liability will be prosecuted according to the law.

Article 40: Where, in violation of Article 6 of these Rules, Internet news information service activities are launched without a licence, the Cyberspace Administration and local Internet information offices, according to their duties, order cessation of the relevant service activities, and may additionally impose a fine between 10.000 and 30.000 Yuan.

Article 41: Where Internet news information service providers, in violation of Chapter II of these Rules, obtain an Internet news information service license through fraudulence, bribery and other such improper means, the Cyberspace Administration and local Internet information offices, according to their duties, cancel the licence; where the matter constitutes a crime, criminal liability will be prosecuted according to the law.

Article 42: Where Internet news information service providers no longer conform to licensing conditions in the course of operations, the Cyberspace Administration or provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices, on the basis of their duties, order rectification within a limited time; where licensing conditions are still not met at the expiry of the time limit, the Cyberspace Administration and local Internet information offices, according to their duties, cancel the licence.

Article 43: Where Internet news information service providers violate the provisions of Article 16, Article 17, Article 18, Article 20 Paragraph I, Article 21, Article 22, Article 23, Article 24 Paragraph II, Article 27, Article 30, Article 31 or Article 32 of these Rules, the Cyberspace Administration or local Internet information, according to their duties, issue a warning and order rectification within a limited time, they may also impose an additional fine between 5000 and 30.000 Yuan; where the matter constitutes a crime, criminal liability will be prosecuted according to the law.

Article 44: Where Internet news information service providers violate Article 29 of these Rules, the Cyberspace Administration of local internet information offices, according to their duties, issue a warning and order rectification within a limited time, they may also impose an additional fine between 10.000 and 30.000 Yuan; where the matter constitutes a crime, criminal liability will be prosecuted according to the law.

Article 45: Where Internet news information service providers violate the provisions of Article 24 Paragraph I, Article 25 or Article 26 paragraph II of these Rules, the Cyberspace Administration or local Internet information offices, according to their duties, issue a warning and order rectification within a limited time; where circumstances are grave, news information updates are suspended, and a fine between 20.000 and 30.000 Yuan imposed additionally; where the matter constitutes a crime, criminal liability will be prosecuted according to the law.

Article 46: Where Internet news information service providers refuse not obey concrete administrative acts issued by the Cyberspace Administration or local Internet information offices according to regulations, they may apply for administrative redress or file an administrative lawsuit according to the law.

Chapter VI: Supplementary Provisions

Article 47: "News and publicity units" as used in these Rules, refers to news units and competent departments for news and propaganda.

Where news units establish Internet news information service work units in collaboration with non-news units and the share of the news unit is no less than 51%, it shall be considered as a news unit establishing an Internet news information service unit; where it is less than 51%, it shall be considered as a non-news unit establishing an Internet news information service unit.

Article 48: Those engaged in Internet news information services before the promulgation of these Rules, shall conduct relevant remedial formalities within sixty working days after the promulgation of these Rules.

Article 49: Provincial, autonomous region or municipal Internet information offices may, on the basis of these Rules, provide concrete roles for Internet news information service management within their administrative areas.

Article 50: These Provisions take effect on ___,___ 2016. Where these Rules are inconsistent with relevant rules promulgated before these Rules, these Rules apply.

 

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