BEIJING May 2 China on Tuesday issued tighter
rules for online news portals and network providers, the latest
step in President Xi Jinping's push to secure the internet and
maintain strict party control over content.
Xi has made China's "cyber sovereignty" a top priority in
his sweeping campaign to bolster security. He has also
reasserted the ruling Communist Party's role in limiting and
guiding online discussion.
The new regulations, released by the Cyberspace
Administration of China (CAC) on its website, extend
restrictions on what news can be produced and distributed by
online platforms, requiring all services to be managed by
party-sanctioned editorial staff.
The rules, which come into effect on June 1, apply to all
political, economic, military, or diplomatic reports or opinion
articles on blogs, websites, forums, search engines, instant
messaging apps and all other platforms that select or edit news
and information, the administration said.
All such platforms must have editorial staff who are
approved by the national or local government internet and
information offices, while their workers must get training and
reporting credentials from the central government, it said.
Editorial work must be separate from business operations and
only public funds can be used to pay for any work, it added.
Under the rules, editorial guidance measures used for the
mainstream media will be applied to online providers to ensure
they too adhere to the party line, such as requiring "emergency
response" measures to increase vetting of content after
The rules also stipulate that a domestic business that wants
to set up a joint venture with a foreign partner, or accept
foreign funding, must be assessed by the State Internet
Content on China's internet has never been free of
government censorship, though a number of internet companies run
news portals that produce relatively independent reporting and
A number of these platforms were shut down last year, after
Xi in April called in a speech for better regulation of China's
The CAC separately on Tuesday released another set of rules
that on June 1 will require "network providers and products"
used by people who might touch upon "national security and the
public interest" go through a new round of security reviews.
Beijing adopted a cyber security law last year that overseas
critics say could shut foreign businesses out of various sectors
(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Robert Birsel)