China Monthly TMT Update – October 2019

China

China issues opinions to regulate educational application programs

The Ministry of Education, the Cybersecurity Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and five other authorities jointly issued the Opinions on Guiding and Regulating the Development of Educational Mobile Internet Applications (“Opinions”) on 15 August 2019.

Under the Opinions, an educational mobile internet application (“Educational App”) refers to a mobile internet application program providing teachers, students or parents with educational services, student management, or otherwise acts as an interface between students and their school. An Educational App operator (“Operator”) is required to file their entity information and their Educational App with the provincial-level education administration and obtain an ICP recordal, a licence for operating telecom services (if applicable) as well as a grading certificate and test report for classified cybersecurity protection.

In addition, the Opinions provide certain obligations on the Operators. For example, the Operators must set time limits for Educational Apps targeting minors; and they should establish an information review system for Educational Apps that contain forum, community or messaging functions. When employing foreign teachers, the Operator should review their qualifications, education backgrounds and abilities. Further, If the Operator cooperates with a school to develop an Educational App that is compulsory in that school, the Operator cannot charge any fee to students or their parents, nor insert any commercial advertisements or electronic games into the compulsory Educational App. 

Meanwhile, the Opinions require Operators to comply with applicable data protection and cybersecurity obligations in accordance with the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China.

Please click here to read the full text (Chinese only) of the Opinions. 

The Ministry of Science and Technology issues Working Guidelines for the Construction of National New-generation AI Innovation and Development Pilot Zones

The Ministry of Science and Technology (“MoST”) of the People’s Republic of China issued the Working Guidelines for the Construction of National New-generation Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Development Pilot Zones (“Guidelines”) on 29 August 2019.

According to the Guidelines, China plans to establish around 20 artificial intelligence pilot zones (“AI Pilot Zones”) by 2023. The MoST has decided that Beijing and Shanghai will be the first two AI Pilot Zones. It is expected that other AI Pilot Zones will be chosen from cities whose AI core industry has reached RMB 5 billion and the AI-related industry has reached RMB 20 billion, and which have established solid basic infrastructure (e.g. data platforms, big data and cloud computing centres, mobile networks, IoT and industrial internet).

The local governments of AI Pilot Zones will provide financial support for the development of the AI industry. In addition, preferential policies will be issued in the AI Pilot Zones in order to encourage the application of AI technology to certain industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, financial sector, medical health, education, transportation, environmental protection, public security and city management.

Please click here to read the full text (Chinese only) of the Guidelines.

The Ministry of Transport issues Interim Measures for Administration of Road Freight Transport Operations Based on Online Platforms

The Ministry of Transport issued the Interim Measures for Administration of Road Freight Transport Operations Based on Online Platforms (“Measures”) on 6 September 2019.

Under the Measures, Road Freight Transport Operations Based on Online Platforms (“Operations”) refer to activities in which operators (“Operators”) integrate and allocate transportation resources via internet platforms, sign transportation contracts with shippers, assume carrier's responsibilities, and entrust other qualified shipping companies to complete road freight transportation.

If any enterprises are engaged in Operations, they shall meet the requirements for providing “operational internet information services” and have the necessary capability to conduct real time monitoring and dynamic management of the whole transportation and transaction process. Operators are also obliged to review and ensure the qualifications of vehicles and drivers that actually perform the transportation services, and monitor their performance in accordance with the applicable transportation service standards.

Please click here to read the full text (Chinese only) of the Measures.

The Cyberspace Administration of China issues Draft Provisions on the Internet Ecological Governance

The Cyberspace Administration of China issued draft Provisions on the Internet Ecological Governance (“Draft”) on 10 September 2019.

Under the Draft, the Internet Ecological Governance refers to relevant activities that dispose illegal and improper information, where governments, enterprises, society and internet users are the subjects and internet information content are the major targets.

Information content producers are prohibited from producing any content listed in the “illegal content list” or the “improper content list”. Internet information content service platforms must establish management mechanisms for internet ecological governance, in particular the capability to monitor and terminate the transmission of any illegal or improper content. When using auto-recommendation technologies, platform operators shall design algorithms that recommend content of mainstream value. Internet users shall not engage in illegal activities by manipulating new technologies such as deep learning and virtual reality.

Please click here to read the full text (Chinese only) of the Draft.

A new batch of information technology and cybersecurity standards are published

To further the implementation of the PRC Cybersecurity Law, a new batch of information technology and cybersecurity standards were published on 3 September 2019. These technical standards are not mandatory but recommended. The requirements provided therein are considered as the best practice in the relevant areas in China.

The standards set out the security requirements for critical network devices and systems (e.g. routers, switches, operating systems, and database management), and for important platforms and networks (e.g. web applications, trusted software bases, network storage, mobile terminal security management platforms, and website security cloud protection platforms). They provide guidance for classified protection of information systems, de-identification of personal information, big data security management, data transaction services, and the supervision of cloud computing services. They also include a few special standards applicable to industrial control systems (e.g. concerning dedicated firewalls, security isolation and information exchange systems, and vulnerability detection products dedicated to industrial control systems).

Please click here for a full list of the standards.