China set to ban online content of foreign media from March
New Chinese rules coming into effect from March will ban foreign companies from publishing online content without approval from a regulator, the latest effort by Beijing to control information on the internet.
“Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino- foreign cooperative ventures, and foreign business units shall not engage in online publishing services,” said the rules issued by China’s industry and information technology ministry.
Under the regulations, firms with at least part-foreign ownership will be banned from publishing on the mainland text, pictures, maps, games, animation and sound “of informational or thoughtful nature” without approval from authorities, the AP reported.
Approval for online publishing has to be given by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The rules will come into effect on March 10.
Entities with full Chinese ownership will be able to publish online content but they will be expected to self-censor content to remove anything that harms China’s “national unity”. Any publisher of online content, including “texts, pictures, maps, games, animations, audios and video”, will be required to store their “technical equipment, related servers and storage devices” in China, the directives said.