China set to ban on­line con­tent of for­eign me­dia from March

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Su­tirtho Pa­tra­nobis let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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