China: 互联网新闻信息服务大洗牌?

Last Updated: 11 May 2017
Article by Han Kun Law Offices

2017年5月2日,国家互联网信息办公室公布了《互联网新闻信息服务管理规定》(以下简称"新规定")。新规定将于2017年6月1日起施行,并取代2005年颁布实施的现行的《互联网新闻信息服务管理规定》(以下简称"现行规定")。

新规定在保留了现行规定部分内容的基础上对体例、内容等方面都有较大的调整。本文着重就新规定中关于需要取得许可的业务、准入资质要求以及相关主体责任等进行简要分析。

一、 需要取得互联网新闻信息服务许可的业务

新规定和现行规定的核心是一致的,即从事互联网新闻信息服务应当取得互联网新闻信息服务许可,并且接受国家互联网信息办公室的监督管理。

相比现行规定,从事互联网新闻信息服务的定义更为明确,可以从三个方面理解:

1. 内容方面:明确说明新闻信息指的是有关政治、经济、军事、外交等社会公共事务的报道、评论以及有关社会突发事件的报道、评论(即一般体育、文化、科技、商业性质的新闻报道内容不会构成新规定所规制的新闻信息);

2. 播渠道方面:根据技术和时代的发展,明确涵盖通过互联网站、应用程序、论坛、博客、微博客、公众账号、即时通信工具、网络直播等形式向社会公众提供前述新闻信息服务的形式;以及

3. 服务形式方面:根据服务提供商从事的具体工作内容不同,新规定进一步将互联网新闻信息服务分为了互联网新闻信息采编发布服务、转载服务、传播平台服务等三类子业务。

根据上述定义和理解,涉及到采编发布服务、转载服务、传播平台服务的微博、微信、直播平台这些在现行规定制度无需取得互联网新闻信息服务许可的服务提供商都将被要求取得互联网新闻信息服务许可。根据我们过往的经验,对于一些尚未取得互联网新闻信息服务许可的小型服务提供商而言,他们获取互联网新闻信息服务许可的难度比较大,如果不能获得审批,他们将面临着清理现有业务的现实需求。

二、 可以取得互联网新闻信息服务许可的主体资格要求

就外资准入的问题,新规定沿用了现有规定中关于不得设立中外合资经营、中外合作经营和外资经营的互联网新闻信息服务单位,以及互联网新闻信息服务单位与境内外中外合资经营、中外合作经营和外资经营的企业进行涉及互联网新闻信息服务业务的合作,应当报经主管机关进行安全评估的规定。除此以外,新规定中还进一步要求主要负责人、总编辑必须是中国公民。值得注意的是,新规定中首次要求互联网新闻信息服务提供者将采编业务和经营业务分开,明确任何非公有资本不得介入互联网新闻信息采编业务,且规定只有新闻单位(含其控股的单位)或新闻宣传部门主管的单位才能申请从事互联网新闻信息采编发布服务许可。这在一定程度上反映了国家加强对互联网新闻采编业务以及新闻信息内容管理的力度。

现行规定对申请办理互联网新闻信息服务许可的申请人的注册资本、从业人员人数曾有过明确要求(例如要求非新闻单位设立的互联网新闻信息服务单位注册资本应当不低于1000万元人民币且应当有10名以上专职新闻编辑人员)。新规定不再有类似要求,只是概括地要求申请人需要有与服务相适应的场所、设施和资金、专职新闻编辑人员、内容审核人员和技术保障人员,并应建立健全的互联网新闻信息服务管理制度、信息安全管理制度和技术保障措施等。根据我们的经验,这种概括性的要求不易操作,主管机关通常会在实践中就该等要求提出具体化的要求。在短期内,除非有新的实施细则颁布,主管机关很有可能会要求仍然按照现行规定的要求进行审查。

除此以外,类似于《网络出版服务管理规定》,新规定中还进一步要求符合条件的互联网新闻信息服务提供者实行特殊管理股制度,具体实施办法由国家互联网信息办公室另行制定。关于特殊管理股制度的实施,需要特别关注:

1. 此类特殊管理股制度是仅针对采编发布服务者还是针对采编发布服务、转载服务、传播平台服务所有三类服务提供者?

2. 国资特殊管理股的持股比例是否有最低限额(例如比例至少1%)?其控制权如何体现(是否拥有董事席位,是否对内容有一票否决权)?

毫无疑问,此类特殊管理股制度一旦实施,将会对采用VIE结构的中概股企业或拟境外上市的中国企业的融资和上市会产生重大影响。

三、 互联网新闻信息服务提供者的责任

新规定将互联网新闻信息服务分为了互联网新闻信息采编发布服务、转载服务、传播平台服务这三类。除了明确了总编辑及从业人员管理、信息安全管理、传播内容的管理、违法信息的处理等针对所有的互联网新闻信息服务提供者一般性的要求以外,新规定还就上述三类的服务,有一些特殊的要求:

1. 根据新规定从事互联网新闻信息采编发布服务许可的,应当是新闻单位(含其控股的单位)或新闻宣传部门主管的单位,即传统意义上的新闻机构。

2. 新规定要求提供转载新闻的应当转载中央新闻单位或地方直属新闻单位发布的新闻信息,注明新闻信息来源、原作者、原标题、编辑真实姓名等,不得歪曲、篡改标题原意和新闻信息内容,并保证新闻信息来源可追溯。

3. 新规定要求互联网新闻信息平台服务提供者要求用户提供真实身份信息,不得通过采编、发布、转载、删除新闻信息,干预新闻信息呈现或搜索结果等手段谋取不正当利益,同时还应当与平台上注册用户签订协议,并就用户开设的公众账号应该审核其账号信息、服务资质、服务范围等信息并向主管机关分类备案。

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