The CAC published two regulations on 7 September to regulate the operations of online communication groups (e.g. WeChat groups, Weibo groups, Baidu Tieba groups and Alipay groups) and public content distribution accounts (e.g. WeChat public subscription accounts, Weibo accounts, Toutiao news accounts and video distribution accounts in Miaopai and Kuaishou) respectively.
The new regulations emphasise the responsibilities of the operator of the platform on which the communication groups and public accounts are established. A platform operator’s main responsibilities include obtaining the authentic identification of users, supervising the information exchanged within its platform, and establishing mechanisms (e.g. formulating service agreements and credit-based administrative measures) to manage the groups and public accounts.
In addition, the regulations also provide that the party who establishes a communication group or opens a public account shall be responsible for the information exchanged within the group or account, and shall obtain all the required qualifications (e.g. licence to engage in online news services).