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Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since August 2015

Chapter Quantitative Trade Restrictions  |  Sub-chapter Export restrictions
Export controls
China limits exports of advanced drones and supercomputers for national security reasons. Affected vendors will have to apply for a government permit to ship their technology outside China.
Coverage Drone and high-performance computing technologies
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 January 2014

Chapter Quantitative Trade Restrictions  |  Sub-chapter Import restrictions
Tariff Execution Plan 2014 (Shuiweihui [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
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 Bandwitch, net neutrality
Guiding Opinions for Promoting the Innovation and Development of Cloud Computing to Cultivate New Types of Information Industry Services
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 Bandwitch, 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

Since 2012

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Bandwitch, 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
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Since 2000

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Internet Content Provider License and Establishment Requirement
Website providers are required to apply for an Internet Content Provider 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 Web content
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

Proposal in March 2016

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Draft regulation on domain name registrations for websites
In March 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) publicly released a draft regulation that outlines rules on domain name registrations for websites. The majority of the document elaborates on existing regulations—introduced in 2004 and updated regularly—about operating domain name registrars.

If the revision is approved, the domain name management regulations would require Chinese websites to use domestic domain registration services. The fines for non-compliance would go up to 30,000 yuan, approximately 4,000 euros. Experts have said the draft regulations could be interpreted broadly and, in extreme cases, could give authorities the power to shut off access to all websites that have not registered their web addresses in the country.
Coverage Web content
Restrictions on data

CHINA

In April 2016

Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Blocking of web content
In April 2016, Medium, an online website that allows users including news websites to publish sharable content was blocked in China. There was no official statement explaining the reason for blocking the site.
Coverage Web content
Restrictions on data

CHINA


Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Censorship and filtering of web content
Blocking of web content
In China, there is a centralized control over international gateways and sporadic, localized shutdowns of internet access to quell social unrest. A nationwide blocking, filtering and monitoring system delays or interrupts access to international websites - the so-called Golden Shield.

Since 2012, the Golden Shield has also started to block Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). The government has also shut down access to entire communications systems in response to specific events, notably imposing a 10-month internet blackout in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in 2009.

Moreover, selected web applications are blocked and the video-sharing platform YouTube and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Foursquare are consistently inaccessible.

Document-sharing applications like Google’s cloud storage service Drive are also blocked and other Google applications like Calendar and Translate became inaccessible in June 2014.
Coverage Web content
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Since June 2011

Chapter Intermidiary liability  |  Sub-chapter Notice and takedown requeriment
Guiding Framework on the Protection of Copyright for Network Dissemination
The Service Provider should remove the infringing content/ link immediately upon notice from the Copyright Owner, or latest within 24 hours if there is too much content or links to deal with and the take-down process is relatively complicated. If the Service Provider is unable to take down the infringing content/ link within 24 hours, they should provide an explanation to the Copyright Owner in writing immediately (art. 7).
Coverage Internet intermediaries
Restrictions on data

CHINA

Since January 2016

Chapter Intermidiary liability  |  Sub-chapter Lack of safe harbor for intermediary liabiity
Counter-Terrorism Law
The Counter-Terrorism Law issued in 2016 requires telecoms and Internet Service Providers (ISP) to establish content monitoring and network security programs. The companies are required to adopt precautionary security measures to prevent the dissemination of information on extremism, to report terrorism information to the authorities in a timely manner, to keep original records, and to promptly delete such messages to prevent further circulation (Article 19).
Coverage Telecommunication and Internet Service Providers (ISPs)