B24 Call Center Services License for China

Chinese Name: B24 呼叫中心业务

Summary

The B24 license is defined under the VATS (Value-Added Telecommunications Services) licensing scheme required for any business in China that is providing customer service “call center” services to users. This license is required not only for service by phone calls but also for communication by other methods including instant messaging and email in China.

Laws

The B24 license is defined in Announcement of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Promulgating the Classification Catalogue of Telecommunication Services (2015) as follows:

Call center services refer to the business consultation, information consultation and data query services regarding enterprises, public institutions and other relevant entities provided for users through the public communication network, as entrusted by such entities, by utilizing the call center system which is connected to the public communication network or the Internet as well as database technology, and by establishing an information base after information collection, processing and storage.

Call center services also include the lease of call center systems and operators’ seats.

The users may gain access to the database of the system in multiple ways such as fixed telephone, fax, mobile communication terminal or computer terminal, and obtain the information consultancy services regarding the relevant entities by voice mail, fax, e-mail, short message, etc.

Call center services include domestic call center services and offshore call center services.

B24-1 Domestic call center services

Domestic call center services refer to the call center services provided for domestic and overseas entities and mainly targeted at domestic users, by establishing a call center platform inside China.

B24-2 Offshore call center services

Offshore call center services refer to the call center services provided for overseas entities and targeted at overseas users, by establishing a call center platform inside China.

Who needs one?

Any company that is providing customer support (whether by phone call, instant messaging, email or other methods) must have a B24 License. This includes customer support solely for that company’s own users, as well as outsourced customer support centers that serve the users of other companies.

Requirements to apply for a B24 License

To apply for a B24 license, your company must fulfill these requirements:

  • A 100% Chinese-owned company can obtain a B24 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 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 B24 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 B24 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 B24 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)

Validity Time

The B24 License must be renewed every 5 years.

Get your B24 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.

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