The Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) published the Administrative Provisions on Online Bulletin Board System (“BBS”) and Community Services and the Administrative Provisions on Online Comment Services on 25 August 2017. The two sets of rules are formulated in accordance with the PRC Cybersecurity Law and demonstrate the government’s efforts in further regulating information distribution in cyberspace.
The regulations provide that the operators of BBS, online communities and online information exchange platforms shall be responsible for reviewing the information distributed and removing any illegal information. Operators must obtain the authentic identification of the platform users and enter into agreements with users to specify the users’ obligations on non-distribution of illegal information. Protection of privacy and personal data in the context of online BBS and information exchange were also emphasised in the regulations.
The regulations also introduce a few new regulatory measures. For example, new products, applications and functions developed for users to make comments on the news must pass security assessments. The text of the content of all “bullet screens” must be shown on the same webpage. No platform operator or its personnel is allowed to gain benefits by distributing, re-distributing, removing or intervening in research results.