The regulation of online content and businesses has proved a difficult challenge for all countries. Latest to change their approach is China, with the government this week announcing a new agency to oversee internet regulation in China. This comes as big Chinese firms float in the US and investors are looking for clearer guidance about what the government will (and will not) allow online. Internet regulation in China has been a sensitive area since the 90s and the role of the new State Internet Information Office to “direct, co-ordinate and supervise online content management” marks a significant shift in its importance. But investors take note – the government department will also “handle administrative approval of businesses related to online news reporting”. More details on the regulatory framework…
The department, known as the State Internet Information Office, will direct, coordinate and supervise online content management and handle administrative approval of businesses related to online news reporting, it said.
It will direct the development of online gaming, online video and online publication industries, it said.
The office will be engaged in promoting construction of major news websites and managing government online publicity work.
It is assigned the duties to investigate and punish websites violating laws and regulations.
It will oversee telecom service providers in their efforts to improve the management of registration of domain names, distribution of IP addresses, registration of websites and Internet access.
The State Council has approved the appointment of four senior officials for the State Internet Information Office.
Director of the State Council’s Information Office Wang Chen was appointed director of the State Internet Information Office.
Vice director of the State Council’s Information Office Qian Xiaoqian was appointed vice director of the State Internet Information Office.
Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xi Guohua, and Vice Minister of Public Security Zhang Xinfeng were concurrently appointed vice directors of the State Internet Information Office.
The move highlights the evolving regulatory environment in the country just as interest in Chinese Web companies is soaring among global investors.
A string of public offerings is in the pipeline. The debut of social-networking site operator Renren on the New York Stock Exchange raised $743.4m, even though the company posted a loss for 2010.