On 1 August 2022, the revised Provisions on the Administration of Information Services for Mobile Internet Applications ("Revised Provisions"), which was issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China on 14 June 2022, came into force. The Revised Provisions were issued in response to the recent legislation on relevant data protection laws which aim to establish a data governance system in China by strengthening the supervision of application providers and application distribution platforms.
The Revised Provisions substantially amended the original ones ("Original Provisions"), increasing the provisions from 11 to 27 articles and clarifying the requirements in relation to the provision of application information services and application distribution services in the People's Republic of China ("PRC").
Clause 2 of the Revised Provisions provides for a more comprehensive definition of application information services and application distribution services. They now include almost all types of services that may be provided based on the application and new types of platforms (such as quick Apps centers, Internet applet platforms, and browser plug-in platforms) to distribute such applications.
Clauses 6 through 16 outline the requirements for application providers, which include, among others, (i) verifying user identity information; (ii) obtaining an Internet news and information services license or other administrative licenses for information services; and (iii) establishing a mechanism for examining the content of the information. In particular, the Revised Provisions stipulate the obligations in relation to cyber security, data security and personal information protection, emphasising the necessity for personal information collection and the fact that users shall not be denied the use of the basic function services of certain applications merely on account of their refusal to provide unnecessary personal information. These requirements are in line with the Cybersecurity Law and Personal Information Protection Law of the PRC.
Clauses 17 through 21 set out the requirements for application distribution platforms, which include, among others, (i) filing the required information with the local network information administration authority within 30 days from the time the platform has become operational; and (ii) establishing classification management systems. Clauses 17 through 21 also prescribe the management obligations of application distribution platforms in relation to application providers. If the applications violate the Revised Provisions, relevant laws and regulations, and service agreements, the application distribution platform shall take such measures as giving warnings, suspension of services, removal of the application from the platform, etc. It shall also keep relevant records and report the breach to competent authorities.
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