Interim Provisions on the Administration of the Development of Public Information Services Provided through Instant Messaging Tools
Article 1: In order to further promote the healthy and orderly development of instant messaging tools and public information services, protect the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations, safeguard national security and the public interest, on the basis of the “NPC Standing Committee Decision concerning Safeguarding Internet Security”, the “NPC Standing Committee Decision concerning Strengthening the Protection of Online Information”, the “Interpretation concerning Some Questions of Applicable Law When Handling Uses of Information Networks to Commit Defamation and Other Such Criminal Cases”, the “Internet Information Service Management Rules”, the “Internet News Information Service Management Regulations” and other such laws and regulations, these Regulations are formulated.
Article 2: These Regulations apply to the operation of instant messaging tools and public information services within the borders of the People’s Republic of China.
Instant messaging tools as named in these Regulations, refers to applications based on the Internet, which provide instant information exchange services to end-users. Public information services as named in these Regulations, refers to activities of distributing information to the public through public accounts on instant messaging tools and other means.
Article 3: The State Internet Information Office is responsible for the comprehensive planning, coordination and guidance of the development and management work of instant messaging tools and public information services, provincial-level Internet information content controlling departments are responsible for corresponding work within their administrative areas.
Internet sector organizations shall play their roles vigorously, strengthen sector self-discipline, promote the construction of a sectoral credit appraisal system, and stimulate the healthy and orderly development of the sector.
Article 4: Instant messaging tool service providers shall obtain corresponding qualifications as provided in laws and regulations. Instant communication tool service providers engaging in public information service activities shall obtain Internet news information service qualifications.
Article 5: Instant messaging tool service providers shall implement safety management duties, establish and complete various structures, allocate specialist personnel suited to the scale of services, protect users’ information and citizens’ personal privacy, consciously accept social supervision, and timely deal with unlawful and harmful information reported by the public.
Article 6: Instant messaging tool service providers shall, on the basis of the principle of “real name back stage, one’s one will front of stage”, require that instant messaging tool users register for an account after undergoing authentication of their read identity information.
When instant messaging tool service users register their accounts, they shall sign an agreement with the instant messaging tool service provider, in which they commit to abide by the “seven baselines” of observing laws and regulations, the Socialist system, the national interest, citizens’ lawful rights and interests, public order, social morality and truthfulness of information.
Article 7: Instant messaging tool service users opening public accounts in order to engage in public information service activities shall undergo examination and verification by the instant messaging tool service provider, the instant messaging tool service provider files [them] in a categorized manner with the controlling department for Internet information and content.
Public accounts opened by news work units and news websites may be used to disseminate or reprint current affairs-type news, public accounts set up by non-news work units who have obtained Internet news information service qualifications may be used to reprint current affairs-type news. Other public accounts may not be used to disseminate or reprint current affairs-type news without approval.
Instant messaging tool service providers shall indicate public accounts that may disseminate or reprint current affairs-type news with a symbol.
All levels’ Party and government organs, enterprise and undertaking work units and all people’s organizations are encouraged to open public accounts, to serve economic and social development and satisfy the public’s demands.
Article 8 Instant messaging tool service users engaging in public information service activities shall abide by relevant laws and regulations.
Instant messaging tool service providers shall, in view of the circumstances, adopt measures such as warnings, restricting publication, suspension of refreshing, and closure of accounts against instant messaging tool service users violating the agreed terms, store relevant records, and carry out their duty of reporting the matter to relevant controlling departments.
Article 9: Corresponding departments deal with acts violating these Regulations according to relevant laws and regulations.
Article 10: These Regulations take effect on the date of promulgation.