xi's moments
Home | Specials

China's Law-Based Cyberspace Governance in the New Era

The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China March 2023

China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-17 07:17

III. Keeping Order in a Rule-Based Cyberspace

Strict law enforcement is a critical link in law-based cyberspace governance. China has taken rigorous measures to ensure fair and rule-based law enforcement in cyberspace, strengthening enforcement in key areas of immediate concern to the people, and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the individual as well as the general public. A sound, rule-based order has been created in a clean cyber environment.

1. Protecting Personal Information

With a thriving digital economy come a growing number of crimes, such as the illegal collection, buying and selling, use and leakage of personal information, which threaten people's personal and property security and disrupt social and economic order. Personal information protection concerns people's legitimate rights and interests, as well as public security governance and the future of the digital economy.

Targeting covert, high-frequency personal information infringements with high-tech means, China has adopted new thinking and methods of supervision, taking tougher action against illegal activities. For example, it carries out regular actions against mobile applications that illegally collect and use personal data. Since 2019, the authorities in China have inspected 3.22 million mobile applications, issuing notice of criticism to or removing about 3,000 applications that violated laws and regulations. Through these targeted actions, violations of personal information rights have been effectively curbed, as many more applications are now conforming to relevant regulations and the public has also built a strong awareness of personal data protection. Respecting and protecting personal information is recognized as essential by all.

2. Protecting Online Intellectual Property Rights

Strengthening online intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is central to innovation in internet technology. As new technologies and applications flourish, IPR infringements online have become cheaper and more diversified and covert, posing a severe challenge to law enforcement in terms of tracing, evidence collection, and enforcement.

Over the years, China has developed a keen understanding of online IPR creation, protection and application, and taken strong actions for online IPR protection. These include: establishing and improving supervision mechanisms, creating a new dynamic of IPR protection by all members of society, launching cross-platform cooperation for IPR protection, and punishing online infringement and piracy. Integrated online-offline law enforcement has been strengthened to enable firm action against online trademark infringements and counterfeiting of patented products. Regular targeted actions have been taken against all types of infringements and piracy, including online copyright infringement, pirated film copies and illegal dissemination, and copyright infringement in key markets and areas. During the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, more than 110,000 unauthorized links containing content about the Games were deleted from internet platforms. Through years of effort, China has achieved a marked improvement in online IPR protection.

3. Maintaining Order in the Online Market

The rapid rise of the online market has played a major role in stabilizing the economy, spurring consumption, securing employment, and serving the people's wellbeing. China has tried out new models of law enforcement adapted to the online market, a new business form, and supported its sound and sustainable growth by regulating the market for fair competition and taking resolute action against all forms of illegal transactions.

— Ensuring fair competition in the online market. As online platforms expand in size and grow in strength, they have increasingly hampered fair competition by acquiring the best-performing startups in their sectors, deliberately blocking URL links of other platforms, compelling platform users to choose one platform over another, engaging in big data-enabled price discrimination against existing customers, and hijacking traffic.

In response to public appeal, China has taken a range of measures to address disorderly competition among online platforms, support their innovation-driven growth, and regulate and guide capital growth by law. Acts of unfair competition by major online platforms such as price cheating and dumping, monopoly abuse, and other acts of unfair competition have been redressed through regulatory means including administrative admonition, administrative guidance, and guidance on rules. Cases relating to concentration of platform operators in key areas such as finance, high-tech, media that affect people's wellbeing have been reviewed and handled in accordance with the law. Mergers and acquisitions that might adversely affect market competition and innovation have been prevented, and online platform businesses are advised to increase their awareness of rules and regulate their operations.

All this has contributed to an improved market environment for the platform economy, a sound business environment of fair competition, and broader space for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow. A unified, open, fair, competitive, and orderly online business environment is taking shape.

Panel 2 Cases of Unfair Competition and Monopoly Involving Online Platforms

In 2020-21, China investigated two typical cases of compelling platform users to choose one platform over another, in e-business and online food delivery services, and imposed total fines of RMB21.67 billion. In 2021, 1,998 cases of unfair competition online were investigated, resulting in fines of RMB119 million. From 2020 to the first half of 2022, 56 cases of concentration of platform operators with prior notification were reviewed, and 159 cases of illegal concentration of platform operators that failed to file a prior notification were investigated in accordance with the law.

— Regulating online trading and transactions. Rule-based online trading and transactions are essential to creating a sound online market environment and protecting the rights of those engaged in these activities.

China has launched Operation Wangjian to fight online sales of pirated, counterfeit, and sub-standard products, and illegal trading of wildlife and products. It has made sure that online platforms assume their due responsibilities, and strengthened supervision over internet advertisement. In response to new online trading forms such as livestreaming e-commerce and mini online stores, China has exercised strict regulation over customer soliciting by online channels, and investigated a number of websites and platform users suspected of wrongdoing. Targeted actions have been taken against online pyramid selling, particularly under the disguise of e-commerce, investment and money management, and online business startups. Online trading and transactions by main market players in key areas have thus been effectively regulated.

Panel 3 Operation Wangjian

Since 2018, China has launched Operation Wangjian (meaning "web sword") to fight online sales of pirated, counterfeit and sub-standard products, illegal trading of wildlife and products, and illegal advertising. About 1.83 million items of illegal product information have been deleted from online trading platforms, 23,900 websites have been closed, 105,000 website and platform services have been served with cessation orders, and 119,700 internet-related cases have been handled. The operation has safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and ensured a sound online trading order for fair competition.

4. Safeguarding National Cybersecurity

A strong line of defense against cyber threats is the precondition and basis for the healthy development of the internet. China has continued to carry out law enforcement in securing core internet resources, key network systems, and internet data, effectively preventing and defusing risks to cybersecurity, and creating a safe online environment in the internet age.

In the area of core internet resources, it has strengthened the management of websites, domains and IP addresses, and improved early warning systems through more sophisticated technical means to guarantee security. In the area of key network systems, it has further strengthened protection for network security and monitored cybersecurity threats, effectively guarding against large-scale denial-of-service attacks and other major security incidents. In the area of internet data, through monitoring systems and category-specific management at all levels, it has increased the ability to protect and oversee data security, and strengthened law enforcement on data security involving the Industrial Internet, Internet of Vehicles, and 5G application.

5. Creating a Clean Cyberspace

In response to public demand and expectations, China has acted to regulate online information dissemination and rectify disorder in cyberspace. It has launched Operation Clean Net, Operation Qinglang and other special campaigns to address outstanding problems of strong public concern on the internet, such as pornography, fake information, cyberbullying, and abuse of algorithms. Websites and platforms spreading information that violates laws and regulations have received administrative admonition, rectification orders and warnings, and punishments such as fines and temporary bans on issuing new content. In addition, websites and platforms have been urged to assume their principal responsibility, and manage the information released by their users in accordance with the law and their user agreements. A complaint and reporting system for online information security is now in place to form synergy for cyber governance. With continued improvements to the online environment, the internet has become much cleaner and netizens more civil and better-behaved.

China prioritizes special protection for minors, creating a sound, friendly online environment for them. It has cleaned up the internet through Operation Child Protector and other special programs to maintain a safe online environment for minors, with a focus on illegal and harmful information, online gaming addiction, and unhealthy online socializing. It has strengthened the education on online safety among minors, and punished online crimes that harm the physical and mental health of minors, creating a sound and safe online environment for minors supported by joint efforts from families, schools, and society.

Panel 4 Operation Child Protector

Since 2011, China has regularly launched Operation Child Protector for the protection of minors. Offline, law enforcement teams have conducted regular inspections of markets near campuses, removing publications for children that contain content involving porn, violence or drug-abuse, or promote cult organizations and superstitions. Online, luring yet harmful content has been cleaned up through concerted efforts. Online platforms are urged to introduce youth-friendly versions that work, and key internet businesses are encouraged to assign offices and staff for Operation Child Protector. The Operation has expanded into a franchise of programs, to provide public education and communication, build education bases, and help schools and families strictly supervise teenagers' use of mobile phones and other smart terminal devices.

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next   >>|
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349