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Trading restrictions

CHINA

Reported in 2015

Chapter Quantitative Trade Restrictions  |  Sub-chapter Local Content Requeriments for commercial market
Local content requirement for the commercial market
The U.S. and Japan expressed concerns about a recent measure by China that they claimed imposed local content requirements on information and telecommunications equipment used by the banking sector.

The U.S. is concerned about measures that would severely limit access to China's banking sector for many foreign ICT products. China stressed the necessity of protecting security in the banking sector, adding that many countries are doing the same thing, but said it is reviewing the measure in the light of views it has received. Press sources subsequently reported that the rule has been temporarily suspended and will be re-issued after being amended.
Coverage Information and telecommunications equipment used by the banking sector
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since December 2013
Entry into force January 2014

Chapter Quantitative Trade Restrictions  |  Sub-chapter Import restrictions
Notice of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council on the Tariff Execution Plan (Shui Wei Hui [2013] No.36)
In December 2013, the Tariff Commission of the State Council issued the Announcement of the Tariff Execution Plan 2014 (Shuiweihui [2013] No. 36). Among the relevant matters announced in the tariff execution plan is that 10 non-complete taxable-item information technology products shall continue to be subject to customs inspection management.
Coverage Selected information technology products
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since January 2014

Chapter Quantitative Trade Restrictions  |  Sub-chapter Import restrictions
MOFCOM Notice 97/2013
MOFCOM Notice 97/2013 imposes non-automatic import licensing procedure upon certain chemicals, machinery and electrical goods.
Coverage Certain chemicals, machinery and electrical goods (e.g. electrical motors and converters)
Sources
  • European Commission, DG Trade, 11th Report on Potentially Trade-Restrictive Measures Identified in the Context of the Financial and Economic Crisis, 1 June 2013 – 30 June 2014: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2014/november/tradoc_152872.pdf
  • APEC Secretariat, Key Trends and Developments Relating to Trade and Investment Measures and Their Impact on the APEC Region, November 2014: http://mddb.apec.org/Documents/2014/SOM/CSOM/14_csom_005.pdf
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since 2000

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to content access
Internet Content Provider (ICP) Licence
All domestic and foreign websites are required to apply for an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license to operate their website in China. This obligation applies both to domestic and foreign businesses. Without an ICP number, a website can be shut down by the hosting provider with no notice. Local establishment is also required.
Coverage Horizontal
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since June 2017

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to content access
Regulations on Administration of Internet News Information Service

Regulations on Administrative Enforcement Procedures for Internet Information Content
All private news services are required to be managed by party-sanctioned staff. 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. The new rules 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.
Coverage News providers
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Reported in 2007 and 2014

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to content access
State monopoly on imports and distribution of multimedia products
China's General Admnistration of Press and Publications agency selects which publications and audiovisual products may enter China, while the State Admninistration on Radio, Film and Culture and the Ministry of Culture review various media. Additionally, China's Ministry of Culture selects which entitites may import finished audiovisual products. This effective monopoly on the import and distribution of multimedia products means that China tightly restricts the import of cultural media into the country. These measures have been the focus of a WTO investigation launched by the United States in 2007 (DS363). The panel ruled in favour of the complainant, deeming that China had not had adequately substantiated its defense, which concerned the need to protect public morals. In total, the panel found 29 WTO violations throughout various Chinese regulations, catalogs, rules, opinions and legal instruments. Rather than fully implimenting the panel's recommendations, China and the US reached a memorandum of understanding via negotiated settlement. Many of the associated laws remain in place, and their influence is amplified by provincial and local-level regulations that cite them.
Coverage Reading materials (e.g. newspapers, periodicals, electronic publications), audiovisual home entertainment products (e.g. video, compact discs, digital video discs), sound recordings (e.g. recorded audio tapes), and films for theatrical release
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Reported in 2015

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to content access
"Network security offices"
In August 2015, it was reported reported that the Chinese government will station police officers inside large internet companies, including e-commerce giant Alibaba and online media firm Tencent. So-called “network security offices” in major internet companies are set up “in order to be able to find out about illegal internet activity more quickly”.
Coverage Large internet companies, including Alibaba and Tencent
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Since January 2015

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Bandwidth, net neutrality
Opinions on Promoting Innovation and Development of Cloud Computing and Cultivating New Commercial Activities in the IT Industry (关于促进云计算创新发展培育信息产业新业态的意见)
There are national guidelines on cloud computing with the objective to improve the level of cloud usage in both the private and public sectors and deploy the technology across all sectors. However, the guidelines also stress the need to develop "indigenous innovation capabilities" and to ensure that security is a focus of China's cloud deployment, including personal privacy and regulation of cross-border data. The guidelines have been reported as a restriction to digital trade.
Coverage Cloud Computing
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Reported in 2013

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Bandwidth, net neutrality
Net neutrality
There are no confirmed reports of content prioritisation. However, in 2013, the media reported government plans to support the establishment of charges for the use of WeChat. According to these reports, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was analizing the possibility that telecommunication companies (e.g. China Mobile and China Unicom) were paid a fee for the use of the app given its large data bandwidth use.
Coverage WeChat
Restrictions on data

CHINA

The project was initiated in 1998 and began operations in November 2003

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Bandwidth, net neutrality
Golden Shield
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security of China mantain control over cross-border internet communication through a firewall known as the "Golden Shield", which can slow down Internet traffic crossing the country’s borders and cause errors. The Golden Shield makes use of the Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology for Internet surveillance, which causes slowdown of websites.
Coverage Web content
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Reported in March 2016

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Internet Domain Name Management Rules (Opinion-seeking Revision Draft)
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued draft measures that would require those wanting to host a website in China to register with a Chinese government-licensed service provider.
Coverage Horizontal
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Since May 2017

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Provisions on the Management of Internet News Services
The Provisions on the Management of Internet News Services require each internet news provider to obtain a permit for Internet News Information Services before providing any of the services stated above. The applicant’s person-in-charge or chief editor must be a Chinese citizen. In addition, the applicant must separately obtain an ICP license or an ICP filing from telecom industry regulators.

These provisions also broadened the definition of “internet news information services” to “services of collecting, editing, and releasing internet news information; reposting such news information; and providing a platform to spread such news information.” They also broaden the definition of “news information” to includes relevant reports and commentaries on politics, the economy, military affairs, foreign affairs, and other public affairs, as well as relevant reports and commentaries on social emergencies.
Coverage Internet news providers
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Since September 2000

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国电信条例)
Website providers are required to apply for an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license to operate their website in China. This restriction applies to both domestic and foreign businesses. Local establishment is also required.

Domestic internet firms must prevent banned content from circulating as part of their licensing requirements. Sina, one of the biggest online media companies in China, got its online publication license canceled in 2014 for allegedly having spread online publications with banned content.
Coverage Website providers
Restrictions on data

CHINA


Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Filtering of web content
Government-owned ISPs reportedly place filtering devices in the backbone and in provincial-level internal networks, a development that could potentially allow for interprovincial filtering. It is reported that at least 14,000 search terms on search engines are filtered.
Coverage Web content
Restrictions on data

CHINA

In March and April 2016

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Blocking of Cloud Services
It is reported that a state-backed campaign being undertaken against pornography and illegal publications forced five online data storage providers to shut down their services. The companies who reported having their services shut down are KuaiPan, UC Net Disk, Vdisk, 115 Technology, and Weiyun, and are all based in China. Foreign cloud storage providers, such as Dropbox and Google Drive have long been blocked in China. The working group cited concerns that cloud storage accounts were stock-full of porn, which is illegal in China. The campaign was undertaken by the National Working Group Against Pornography and Illegal Publications.
Coverage Cloud storage services