Following the Chinese Central TV Station's (CCTV's) broadcast of the 3.15 programme in 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) decided to crack down on telephone harassment and strengthen the protection of personal information in the telecoms and internet sectors.

As regards telephone harassment, the MIIT ordered China's basic telecoms enterprises to:

  • immediately block the dedicated voice circuits used for telemarketing purposes by the enterprises criticised in the programme; and
  • inspect the call-centre enterprises which had come under criticism.

As regards the wrongful collection of personal information by mobile apps, the MIIT ordered the major app stores – including Tencent, Baidu, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and 360 – to take down the apps mentioned in the programme and inspect similar apps accordingly.

The CCTV will broadcast 3.15 on 15 March of each year in order to reveal company activities which infringe consumer rights and interests.

This article was first published by the International Law Office, a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. Register for a free subscription.