B22 Domestic Multi-Party Communications Services
Chinese Name: B22 国内多方通信服务业务
The B22 license is a license under the VATS (Value-Added Telecommunications Services) licensing scheme required for any software that provides real-time or on-demand communication between two or more parties within China. This does not include social media apps (which require a B25 license) or live streaming platforms.
The B22 license is defined in Announcement of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Promulgating the Classification Catalogue of Telecommunication Services (2015) as follows:
Domestic multi-party communication services refer to the real-time interactive or on-demand voice and image communication services realized domestically between two points or among multiple points by virtue of a multi-party communication platform, public communication network or the Internet.
Domestic multi-party communication services include domestic multi-party telephone conference services, domestic visual telephone conference services, domestic Internet conference TV and image services, etc. Domestic multi-party telephone conference services refer to the conference platform services with real-time two-way voice communication realized among multiple points, by utilizing a multi-party communication platform or public communication network to connect the telephone terminals at over two points within the territory of China.
Domestic visual telephone conference services refer to the conference platform services with real-time two-way voice, video and data communication realized at conferences held in a visual manner, by utilizing a multi-party communication platform or public communication network to connect visual telephone conference terminals between two places or among multiple places within the territory of China.
Domestic Internet conference TV and image services refer to the interactive comprehensive multimedia application services provided for domestic users between two points or among
multiple points on the Internet, such as remote diagnosis, remote teaching, cooperative work, etc.
Who needs one?
The B22 License is required for any software or platform that provides real-time or on-demand communication services between two or more parties. Examples are: video conferencing, audio conferencing, and remote diagnosis. As mentioned above, this does not include social media or live-streaming platforms, which require different licenses.
Requirements to apply for a B22 License
To apply for a B22 license, your company must fulfill these requirements:
- A 100% Chinese-owned company can obtain a B22 license for any of the above-listed business scopes; or a foreign-funded telecommunications enterprise established in China, operating within a province, autonomous region, or centrally located municipality.
- The business operator is a company established pursuant to the law;
- Have the requisite funding and staff for its business activities;
- Have the reputation or capability to provide long-term services for the users;
- The minimum registered capital of an operator operating within a province, an autonomous region or centrally-administered municipality shall be RMB1 million; the minimum registered capital of an operator operating nationwide or across provinces, autonomous regions or centrally-administered municipalities shall be RMB10 million;
- Have the premises, facilities and technical plans;
- The social security payment records of at least three Chinese employees need to be submitted (at least for 1 month, and in special cases, it may be necessary to submit three consecutive months’ social security payment records);
- The company and its key investors and key management personnel cannot be included in the list of dishonest telecommunications business operators; and
- any other criteria stipulated by the State.
Special requirements for foreign-funded enterprises
According to the Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access (Edition 2020), since June 2020 it is now possible for a WFOE (wholly foreign-owned enterprise) to obtain a B22 License.
Businesses registered in Hong Kong, Macau, or free-trade zones may enjoy additional advantages and have additional application requirements.
How do I apply for a B22 License?
File online with the local MIIT authorities. In the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, file with the Shanghai Communications Administration (SCA). All document and filing requirements vary by region. See Administrative Measures on Telecommunications Business Permits for a list of basic filing materials required.
Receiving the license generally takes three months or less.
Fines and Penalties
Operating these services without the B22 License may result in a fine of up to 3 to 5 times amount earned until that point, as well as the shutting down and blacklisting of that entity. You cannot carry out your business while applying, or both you and the approval agency will be punished. (article 69 of Telecommunications Regulations of the People’s Republic of China)
The B22 License must be renewed every 3 years.
Get your B22 license the easy way.
App and game publishers in China must adhere to a set of laws and regulations that can seem opaque and confusing to foreign developers and companies. AppInChina simplifies and demystifies this process for our clients.
AppInChina will analyze your app, determine which licenses are needed, and apply on your behalf. See this page for other licenses that may be required for features in specialized categories, such as video conferencing and education. Contact us today for a consultation.