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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

China bans foreign companies from publishing online

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

China has taken a new step in order to restrict foreign companies from publishing online and introduced new rules that are putting these companies under pressure. According to the new law; text, pictures, maps, games, animation and sound of “informational or thoughtful nature” will need prior approval from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

Even foreign companies working in conjunction with a Chinese company will need government approval before publishing. The new regulation will go into effect on March 10, but is still unclear how the Chinese government will enforce it.

What does this mean for foreign companies?

The Internet in China is censored for awhile and all foreign companies that establish in the country are aware of that – movies, games and TV shows are only allowed into the country with previous approval, for example. The new rules are just a better way for the government to ban companies inside the law,  what before was just a common practice.

The problem is that the new law is extremely broad, like not “harming national unity”, “harming national honour and interests” nor “endangering social morality”, so is hard to say how this will affect foreign companies.

Another side of the new rules is that companies will be required to store their “necessary technical equipment, related servers and storage devices” in China. The question is how effectively the Chinese government is going to shut down foreign companies or if it will at all, considering that in the social media era is quite hard to license media when everyone can simply post content on WeChat or Weibo.

Every day there is more and more information online and as more foreign companies come to China, there is also more foreign content flowing inside the mainland – which does not make the Chinese government very happy. This is an effort to keep control of the internet and the content that can influence the public opinion in China. Is still very hard to say how this will go down, let’s wait and see!#

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