Category Archives: Internet & e-commerce

NATIONWIDE WFOE E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS
Mar. to Jun. 2015 China Bulletin

On June 19, 2015, the Ministry of Information Industry and Technology (MIIT) issued a new notice allowing foreign investors to hold 100% equity in companies engaging in online data processing and transaction processing business in China, a nation-wide relaxation based on the earlier pilot policy effective only in Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Continue reading

CYBERSECURITY REQUIREMENTS SUSPENDED
Mar. to Jun. 2015 China Bulletin

The CBRC and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) have suspended the Guidelines on Secure and Controllable Information Technology that the Banking Industry Should Use (2014-15) (Guidelines) until further notice in order to consider feedback from lenders.   Foreign-owned financial institutions, foreign technology trade groups and others had protested that the Guidelines would have excluded foreign suppliers from the Chinese market; Continue reading

NEW FREE TRADE ZONES
Mar. to Jun. 2015 China Bulletin

A number of foreign investment pilot reforms were instituted in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) since it was established in 2013.  At the end of 2014, the State Council approved the establishment of three new free trade zones (FTZs) in Tianjin, Fujian and Guangdong, and expanded the area of the SFTZ to include the Lujiazui Financial District, Jinqiaqo Development Zone and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. Continue reading

CYBERSECURITY IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY
Dec. 2014 to Feb. 2015 China Bulletin

A Separate Chinese Market:

The China Banking and Regulatory Commission (CBRC) issued the Guidelines on Secure and Controllable Information Technology that the Banking Industry Should Use (2014-15) (Guidelines). The Guidelines have raised substantial concern among both foreign-owned financial institutions and foreign software and hardware suppliers to financial institutions in China. Continue reading

DRAFT DOMAIN NAME REGULATION
Aug. to Nov. 2014 China Bulletin

In 2012, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) began drafting revisions (Draft Measures – see June-July 2013 Bulletin), to its 2004 ( (2004 Measures), which regulate domain name service suppliers in China. A key driver for the revisions is the approval by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization responsible for regulating top-level domains (TLDs), of hundreds of new applications for TLDs beginning in 2014. The Draft Measures reportedly require non-Chinese Internet registries to set up a subsidiary registry in China or entrust a Chinese-based registry Continue reading

VAT EXTENDED TO VALUE-ADDED TELECOMS
Feb. to June 2014 China Bulletin

Replacement of the Business Tax on service industries with the Value-Added Tax (VAT) continues apace (see SERVICE VAT EXPANDED, Aug.-Sept. China Bulletin), and the Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation issued the Notice on Including the Telecommunications Industry in the VAT Pilot Program, Cai Shui [2014] No. 43 (Notice 43).  This notice extends an 11% VAT to basic telecoms (mainly voice communication and infrastructure services) and a 6% VAT to value-added telecoms (messaging services used in mobile phones, transmitting and apply electronic data and information), replacing a 3% Business Tax Rate. Continue reading

TRADEMARKS AND INTERNET – NICE CLASSIFICATION
Feb. to June 2014 China Bulletin

The Trademark Office of China (TMO) is a member state of the Nice Union and, as of January 1, 2014, has adopted the 2014 version of the 10th edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification). The changes will have significant impact on expanding and detailing Internet product and service trademark classification categories, including adding or moving: Continue reading

SFTZ VALUE-ADDED TELECOM OPENING
Oct. 2013 to Jan. 2014 China Bulletin

Furthering opening of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Shanghai Municipal People’s Government issued the Opinions on Further Opening Value-Added Telecommunications Business to Foreign Investment in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Pilot Zone, with effect from January, 2014.  The opinions open several value-added telecoms services (VATS) to foreign investment in the SFTZ, including call centers, domestic multiparty telecom services, internet access services, domestic Internet virtual private network services, online data processing,  and transaction processing services (business e-commerce).  Some of these areas are opened for the first time – the 50% VATS cap has been increased or removed for others. Continue reading

PRIVACY AND CONSUMER RIGHTS
Oct. 2013 to Jan. 2014 China Bulletin

Amendments to the Consumer Protection Law will come into effect on March 15, 2014. They will have a significant impact on both online and physical retailers through articles shifting the burden to the seller to prove products are without defect, introducing punitive damages and damages for mental suffering, dramatically increasing administrative fines, and introducing a kind of class action. They also include substantial privacy provisions, giving consumers the right to protection of their personal information when buying and using goods or services, and setting out a list of data protection obligations that businesses collecting or using personal information must meet, whether the information is collected online or otherwise. Continue reading

DRAFT TELECOM BUSINESS CLASSIFICATION CATALOG
June-July China Bulletin

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a new draft Telecommunications Services Classification Catalog (Catalog) for public comment through June 24, 2013. The Catalog lists and classifies the kinds of services for which an operations license is required in China and also divides telecom services into two main categories: basic telecom services, including telecom infrastructure, and value-added telecom services (VATS), which include services other than infrastructure, such as most Internet-related services. It further divides each main category into Type I and Type II services. Continue reading