Non-public capital banned from online news services

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/2 22:43:39

Non-public capital is banned from online news and editing services, according to a new regulation released by China's Internet watchdog on Tuesday.

The regulation was released by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) amid increasing challenges in the country's efforts to regulate online news services.

News information includes news reports about public affairs such as politics, economy, military and diplomacy, as well as comments and reports on emergencies, and news services include publishing, forwarding and broadcasting news, said the regulation.

"Public-funded entities or State-owned media organizations can better present China to the world as they have better understanding about the country's society, politics and culture," Luo Ping, a media expert with the Communication University of China, told the Global Times.

On the other hand, some of the non-public capital, with uneven quality of reporting, often fail to properly review the information when reporting, said Wang Sixin, a law professor with the Communication University of China.

In February, Pear Video, an online platform that produces short videos, was ordered to make unspecified changes after producing "exclusive" political news programs without a license granted to publish original content online, make broadcasts and circulate videos, according to the Beijing Cyberspace Administration.

It said that Pear Video "published political news through columns, made videos and collected content that online users uploaded."

Meanwhile, cooperation between Chinese online news service providers and entities with foreign investment should also go through a security review, according to the regulation.

Due to the ideological differences, news about China reported by news organizations funded by foreign capital or Sino-foreign joint ventures may be misleading, said Wang.

In addition, publishing news on the Internet and providing news services on websites, apps, instant messaging tools, livestreaming platforms, and social media, such as Sina Weibo and WeChat, without permission are also prohibited, according to the regulation.

In order to obtain the permit, the news providers must be legally registered in China and people in charge of the organization must be Chinese citizens.

Those who obtain permission are also prohibited from providing news service beyond the scope they applied for, said the regulation.

Anyone who violates the regulation will be fined up to 30,000 yuan ($4,350), according to a press release from the CAC.

It is very necessary for China to regulate news broadcasts on the Internet, said Wang, adding that the government faces more challenges in regulating the Internet with the emergence of new media.

Newspaper headline: New rules target Internet content


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