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Measures for Managing Internet Information Services - 2000

On Oct. 1, 2000, China issued the following "Measures for Managing Internet Information Services," as published by the official state media, Xinhuashe (Xinhua News Agency), on the same day.

 

Article 1:
These measures are drawn up for the purpose of regulating Internet information services (IIS) and promoting the healthy and orderly development of such services.

Article 2:
IIS providers in the People's Republic of China must abide by these measures. The term IIS refers to services that provide Internet users with information via the Internet.

Article 3:
IIS are divided into commercial and non-commercial providers. Commercial IIS refer to providing Internet users with information via the Internet in exchange for compensation, or providing Web page creation services. Non-commercial IIS refer to providing Internet users with open-source and shared-information services via the Internet on a non-compensatory basis.

Article 4:
The state requires that commercial IIS be licensed and that non-commercial IIS report their services for the official records. No one may provide IIS without a license or without reporting its services.

Article 5:
Prior to applying for an operating license or reporting IIS services for the record, an IIS provider whose services relate to information, the publishing business, education, medical and health care, pharmaceuticals, and medical apparatus; and whose services require the concurrence of the relevant supervisory authorities in accordance with the law, with administrative regulations, or with other relevant state laws, must first obtain the approval of the relevant supervisory authorities.

Article 6:
In addition to meeting the requirements set forth in the "PRC Telecommunications Regulations," a commercial IIS provider must also meet the following requirements: 1. It must have a business development plan and a supporting technical plan; 2. It must have sound measures for Internet and information security, including measures for safeguarding Web sites, and information security and rules for ensuring the safety of users' information; and 3. It must have documents that prove the concurrence of its supervisory authorities if its operations belong to one of the categories listed in Article 5.

Article 7:
A commercial IIS provider must apply to the IIS administration of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction, or to the State Council department in charge of information industries, for its license to operate an IIS value-added telecommunications business (hereafter "license"). The telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction, or the State Council department in charge of information industries, will finish examining and approving an application within 60 days after receiving the application, and decide whether the application is approved or not. If the application is approved, the administration will IISue an operating license to the applicant; if it is not approved, the administration will notify the applicant in writing and explain the reason. After applicants receive the licenses, they must use them to go through registration formalities with the authorities that handle business registration.

Article 8:
A non-commercial IIS provider must report its operations for the official records at the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction, or at the State Council department in charge of information industries. When it does so, it must provide the following information: 1. Basic facts about the sponsor and the person in charge; 2. The Web site address and the services it provides; and 3. Proof of concurrence from the relevant authorities if its services fall within the scope of Article 5. The telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction must create a record and assign a number to those cases that have furnished all the necessary documents.

Article 9:
An IIS provider planning to provide e-announcements shall submit a special application, or special request for the record, in accordance with relevant state regulations when it applies for a commercial IIS license, or when it reports its special request to provide non-commercial IIS for the record.

Article 10:
The telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction, or the State Council department in charge of information industries, shall publicize the names of all the IIS providers that have been licensed for operations; or that have had their requests recorded and filed.

Article 11:
An IIS provider shall provide the services prescribed in its license, or the services it has reported for the record. It may not provide other services than those prescribed in the license or reported for the record. A non-commercial IIS provider may not accept compensation for its services. When an IIS provider changes its services or its Web site address, it shall have the change processed 30 days in advance by the original authorities that approved, licensed, or recorded its services.

Article 12:
An IIS provider must display its license or record number in a prominent place on the home page of its Web site.

Article 13:
An IIS provider must provide Internet users with high-quality services, and it must guarantee that its information is legal.

Article 14:
An IIS providing services related to information, the publishing business, and e-announcements shall record the content of the information, the time that the information is released, and the address or the domain name of the Web site. An Internet service provider (ISP) must record such information as the time that its subscribers accessed the Internet, the subscribers' account numbers, the addresses or domain names of the Web sites, and the main telephone numbers they use. An IIS provider and the ISP must keep a copy of their records for 60 days and furnish them to the relevant state authorities upon demand in accordance with the law.

Article 15:
IIS providers shall not produce, reproduce, release, or disseminate information that contains any of the following: 1. Information that goes against the basic principles set in the constitution; 2. Information that endangers national security, divulges state secrets, subverts the government, or undermines national unity; 3. Information that is detrimental to the honor and interests of the state; 4. Information that instigates ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, or that undermines national unity; 5. Information that undermines the state's policy towards religions, or that preaches the teachings of evil cults or that promotes feudalistic and superstitious beliefs; 6. Information that disseminates rumors, disturbs social order, or undermines social stability; 7. Information that spreads pornography or other salacious materials; promotes gambling, violence, homicide, or terrorism; or instigates crimes; 8. Information that insults or slanders other people, or infringes upon other people's legitimate rights and interests; or 9. Other information prohibited by the law or administrative regulations.

Article 16:
When an IIS provider discovers that the information its Web site provides is clearly of a type listed under Article 15, it should immediately stop transmission, keep the relevant records, and report the situation to the relevant state authorities.

Article 17:
When a commercial IIS provider applies to have its business publicly listed in China or overseas, or to set up a joint venture or partnership with a foreign business, it must have the prior agreement of the State Council department in charge of information industries. The proportion of the total investment that is supplied by the foreign business shall be in line with the provisions prescribed in the relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 18:
The State Council department in charge of information industries, and the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction, shall exercise supervision over IIS providers in accordance with the law. Departments in charge of information, the publishing business, education, public health, and pharmaceuticals; departments in charge of business administration; and departments in charge of national security, must supervise the contents of Internet information in areas under their respective jurisdictions and in accordance with the law.

Article 19:
For those who violate the regulations in these measures by providing unlicensed commercial IIS, or by providing other services than those prescribed by their licenses, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction must order them to mend their ways within a specified period, confiscate their illegal incomes, and impose on them a fine between three and five times their illegal incomes. In cases where there is no illegal income, or in cases where the illegal income is less than 50,000 renminbi (US$6,039), they must impose on them a fine of between Rmb 100,000 and Rmb 1 million (US$12,079 and US$120,788). If the case is serious, they will be ordered to shut down their Web sites. For those that violate the regulations in these measures by failing to report their operations for the record, by engaging in non-commercial IIS, or by providing other services than those prescribed in the filed records, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction will order them to mend their ways within a certain period; and order those who refuse to do so to shut down their Web sites.

Article 20:
If the acts of those who produce, reproduce, release, or disseminate information of the types listed in Article 15 constitute a crime, the perpetrators in question will be held accountable for the crime. If their acts do not constitute a crime, they will be penalized by public security or national security authorities in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations, such as the "PRC Regulations for Controlling and Penalizing Public Offences," and the "Measures for Protecting and Managing the Security of Computer Information Networks and the Internet". For commercial IIS providers, the licensing authorities will order them to suspend their operations pending rectification of the acts, or revoke their operating licenses, and will report them to the authorities that handle business registration. For non-commercial IIS providers, the authorities that keep their records will order them to shut down their Web sites temporarily or permanently.

Article 21:
For those who fail to meet the obligations prescribed in Article 14, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction will order them to mend their ways. If the cases are serious, these administrations will order them to suspend their operations pending rectification of the acts, or shut down their Web sites temporarily.

Article 22:
For IIS providers that violate the regulations in these measures by failing to display the number of their operating licenses or their filed records on the home pages of their Web sites, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the central government's direct jurisdiction will order them to mend their ways and impose on them a fine of between Rmb 5,000 and Rmb 50,000 (US$604 and US$6,040).

Article 23:
For those IIS providers that fail to meet the obligations prescribed in Article 16, the telecommunications administration of the relevant province, autonomous region, or municipality under the direct jurisdiction of the central government will order them to mend their ways. For commercial IIS providers, the licensing authorities will revoke their licenses if their cases are serious; for non-commercial IIS providers, the authorities that keep their records will order them to shut down their Web sites.

Article 24:
If IIS providers violate other laws or regulations when providing their services, the relevant supervisory authorities in charge of information, the publishing business, education, public health, pharmaceuticals administration, industry and business administrations or other relevant institutions shall penalize them in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Article 25:
When the telecommunications administrations or other relevant supervisory authorities and their personnel neglect their duties, abuse their authority, practice favoritism, commit graft, or ignore their supervision of IIS providers, they will be held accountable if their acts have had grave consequences and constitute a crime. If their acts do not constitute a crime, the supervisors and other personnel who are directly responsible will be disciplined by demotion, removal, or dismissal.

Article 26:
IIS providers that began operation before these measures were promulgated must undergo the necessary formalities within 60 days of the promulgation of these measures.

Article 27:
These measures take effect upon promulgation.

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