Administrative Measures on Internet-based Information Services

Release Date: 01-08-2011

Source: China government website

Chinese Title: 互联网信息服务管理办法(2011修订)

Article 1. These Measures are formulated in order to regulate activities of internet-based information services and to promote the healthy and orderly development of internet-based information services.

Article 2. All internet-based information services undertaken within the territory of the People’s Republic of China shall abide by these Measures.

For the purpose of these Measures, the term “internet-based information services” refer to service activities which provide information to online users through the Internet.

Article 3. Internet-based information services are divided into services of a commercial nature and services of a non-commercial nature.

Commercial internet-based information services refer to compensatory services which provide information to or create web pages for online users through the Internet.

Non-commercial internet-based information services refer to non-compensatory services which supply, through the Internet, to online users information which is open to and shared by the general public.

Article 4. The State shall implement a licence system for internet-based information services of a commercial nature, and implement a filing-for-record system for internet-based information services of a non-commercial nature.

No one shall engage in internet-based information services without having obtained a licence or having completed the filing-for-record procedures.

Article 5. Where, in accordance with laws, administrative regulations and relevant provisions of the State, the engagement in such internet-based information services as those relating to the media, publishing, education, health care, pharmaceuticals and medical instruments, is subject to examination, verification and approval of a competent department in charge of the relevant industry, an applicant shall obtain an approval from the competent department in charge of the relevant industry in accordance with the law before submitting an application for an operation licence or undertaking the filing-for-record formalities.

Article 6. The engagement in commercial internet-based information services shall, in addition to compliance with requirements as prescribed by the Telecommunications Regulations of the People’s Republic of China, meet the following conditions:

(1) having a business development plan and relevant technical schemes;

(2) having sound measures for network and information security, including security measures for web site safety, management systems for maintaining information security and secrecy, and management systems for safeguarding users’ information; and

(3) having obtained approval documents from the competent authorities in charge of the relevant industry, where the services fall within the scope of Article 5 of these Measures.

Article 7. Whoever intends to engage in commercial internet-based information services, shall apply to the administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the relevant province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality, or to the State Council department in charge of the information industry, for a licence to operate value-added telecommunications business in internet-based information services (hereinafter referred to as “operation licence”).

The administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the relevant province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality, or the State Council department in charge of the information industry, shall, within sixty (60) days of receipt of the application, complete the examination of the application and make a decision on whether or not to grant an approval. Where an approval is granted, an operation licence shall be issued; where an approval is not granted, the applicant shall be notified in writing and explained the reasons thereunder.

After having received the operation licence, the applicant shall carry out registration procedures with an enterprise registration organ by presenting the operation licence.

Article 8. Whoever intends to engage in non-commercial internet-based information services shall apply for filing-for-record to the administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the relevant province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality, or to the State Council department in charge of the information industry. When carrying out filing-for-record procedures, the following materials shall be submitted:

(1) the general situations of the host unit and the person(s) in charge of web sites;

(2) the addresses of the web sites and the items of services; and

(3) the approval documents of the relevant competent departments, where the service items fall within the scope of Article 5 of these Measures.

Where materials submitted for filing-for-record are complete, the administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the relevant province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality, or the State Council department in charge of the information industry, shall have them recorded and numbered.

Article 9. Those engaged in internet-based information services who intend to provide electronic announcement services, shall, when applying for a license for commercial internet-based information services or carrying out the filing-for-record procedures for non-commercial internet-based information services, also submit specific applications for such services or undertake specific filing-for-record formalities for such services, in accordance with relevant provisions of the State.

Article 10. The administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the relevant province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality, or the State Council department in charge of the information industry, shall publish a list of names of the internet-based information services providers who have obtained the operation licences or have completed the filing-for-record procedures.

Article 11. An internet-based information services provider shall deliver its services in compliance with the items as stipulated in the licence or in the record filed, and shall not provide services other than the items which have been licensed or filed for record.

A non-commercial internet-based information services provider shall not engage in compensatory services.

An internet-based information services provider who intends to alter its service items, address of web site or other matters, shall complete formalities for alteration thirty (30) days in advance [of the alteration], with the original examination and verification organ and the license issuing organ or the filing-for-record organ.

Article 12. An internet-based information services provider shall indicate its operation licence number or filing-for-record number in the home pages of its web site.

Article 13. An internet-based information services provider shall provide sound services to its online users, and ensure that the contents of all information provided are lawful.

Article 14. An internet-based information services provider who engages in media, publishing, electronic announcement and other services shall record the contents of information provided and the time of publication, the internet address or domain name. An internet connection services provider shall record such information as the time of the subscribers’ access’ access to the Internet, the account numbers of the subscribers, the address or domain name of the web site and the main telephone numbers for the connection.

An internet-based information services provider or an internet connection service provider shall keep the records for a period of sixty (60) days, and shall provide them to the relevant state organs when they inquire such records in accordance with the law.

Article 15. An internet information service provider shall not produce, duplicate, publish or disseminate the following information which:

(1) are against the fundamental principles set out in the Constitution;

(2) endanger national security, leak state secrets, incite to overthrow state power, or undermine the national unity;

(3) damage the State’s honour and harm the interests of the State;

(4) incite ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination or undermine solidarity among all nationalities;

(5) undermine the State’s policies on religions, and advocate religious cults and feudal superstition;

(6) disseminate rumours to disrupt social order and undermine social stability;

(7) disseminate obscene materials, advocate gambling, violence, killing and terrorism, or instigate others to commit crimes;

(8) humiliate or defame other persons or infringe the legitimate rights and interests of the others; and

(9) are otherwise prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

Article 16. Where an internet-based information services provider discovers that information circulated in its web site is clearly one of the contents listed in Article 15 of these Measures, it shall stop the circulation immediately, keep the relevant records and report such to a relevant organ of the state.

Article 17. If a commercial internet-based information services provider applies for listing in China or overseas, or for establishing a joint equity venture or joint cooperation with foreign investors, it shall apply, in advance, to the State Council department in charge of information industry for examination and approval; in such cases, the ratio of foreign investment [in the total investment in the venture or cooperation] shall comply with provisions of relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 18. The administrative organs in charge of telecommunications in provinces, autonomous regions and directly administered municipalities, and the State Council department in charge of information industry, shall exercise supervision and administration over internet-based information services in accordance with the law.

Departments in charge of media, publishing, education, health, drug supervision and control, industry and commerce administration, public security and state security, and other relevant competent departments, shall, within their respective jurisdictions, exercise supervision and administration over the contents of internet information in accordance with the law.

Article 19. Whoever, in violation of provisions of these Measures, engages in internet-based information services of a commercial nature without having obtained an operation licence or provides services outside the licensed scope, shall be ordered by the administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the relevant province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality to rectify the situation within a set time limit; where illegal gains are made, such gains shall be confiscated, and a fine of more than 300 per cent and less than 500 per cent of the amount of the illegal gains shall be imposed; where there are no illegal gains or the amount of illegal gains is less than 50,000 yuan, a fine of more than 100,000 yuan and less than 1,000,000 yuan shall be imposed; where the circumstances are serious, the web site(s) shall be ordered to close.

Whoever, in violation of provisions of these Measures, engages in internet-based information services of a non-commercial nature without having completed the filing-for-record formalities, or provides services beyond the items filed for record, shall be ordered by the administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality to rectify the situation within a set time limit; if rectification is refused, the web site(s) shall be ordered to be closed.

Article 20. Whoever produces, duplicates, publishes or disseminates information containing one of the contents listed in Article 15 of these Measures, shall be pursued with criminal liability; where a crime is not constituted, the public security organ and the state security organ shall impose penalties in accordance with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Punishment for Violation of Social Security Administration, the Administrative Measures on Security Protection of International Connections to Computer Information Networks, and provisions of other relevant laws and administrative regulations; for those providers of commercial internet-based information services, the licence issuing organ shall additionally order them to have their business suspended for re-organisation or revoke their operation licences, and notify such to the enterprise registration organ; for those providers of non-commercial internet-based information services, the filing-for-record authority shall additionally order them to temporarily close or permanently close their web sites.

Article 21. Whoever fails to fulfil the obligations as stipulated in Article 14 of these Measures, shall be ordered by the administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality to rectify the situation; where the circumstances are serious, be ordered to suspend operation for re-organisation or to temporarily close the web site.

Article 22. Whoever, in violation of provisions of these Measures, fails to indicate its operation licence number or the filing-for-record number in its web site home pages, shall be ordered by the administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality to rectify the situation, and be imposed a fine of more than 5,000 yuan and less than 50,000 yuan.

Article 23. Whoever fails to fulfil the obligations as stipulated in Article 16 of these Measures, shall be ordered by the administrative organ in charge of telecommunications in the province, autonomous region or directly administered municipality to rectify the situation; where the circumstances are serious, in cases of commercial internet-based information services, the licence issuing organ shall revoke the operation licence of the provider, and in cases of non-commercial internet-based information services, the filing-for-record authority shall order the provider to close its web site(s).

Article 24. Where an internet-based information services provider violates other laws and regulation in the cause of providing services, the departments in charge of media, publishing, education and health, drug supervision and control, industry and commerce administration, public security and state security, and other relevant competent departments, shall impose penalties in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

Article 25. Where an administrative organ in charge of telecommunications or other relevant competent departments and their personnel, neglects of duties, abuses its power, practise irregularity and favouritism or fails to exercise supervision and administration over the internet-based information services, whereby resulting in serious consequences, he/she shall, where a crime is constituted, be pursued with criminal liability; where a crime is not committed, the direct responsible person-in-charge and other direct responsible person(s) shall be demoted, removed from the position or dismissed from office in accordance with the law.

Article 26. Those who engage in internet-based information services prior to the promulgation of these Measures, shall carry out relevant procedures within sixty (60) days of the promulgation of these Measures in accordance with the relevant provisions of these Measures.

Article 27. These Measures shall take effect from the date of promulgation.

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