China issues draft rules on mobile apps

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China issues draft rules on mobile apps

SHANGHAI, Jan 5, Reuters -- China's cyber regulatory body issued draft rules governing mobile apps, including a requirement for security reviews of apps whose functions could influence public opinion.

The Cyberspace Administration of China CAC has run a campaign over the past year to increase the oversight of the country's tech companies, as part of the proposed regulations.

The public is invited to give feedback on the draft rules by January 20.

The CAC did not give any specific apps or outline the security assessment process, other than to say it should be carried out in accordance with national regulations.

The regulators said the proposed rules would apply to text, picture, voice, video and other information production, as well as instant messaging, news dissemination, forum communities, livestreaming, and e-commerce.

The regulators said that mobile app providers must not conduct activities that endanger national security or force users to share non-essential personal information.

News apps must obtain licenses granting permission to publish news, it said.

Over the past year, Chinese authorities have tightened regulations across a number of industries, from gaming to real estate to education.

The CAC has led a number of initiatives targeting the country's tech sector.

On Tuesday, the CAC announced it would implement two new rules. One rule requires platform companies with over 1 million users to undergo security checks before listing overseas, which would take effect in February. The other rule governs companies' use of recommendation algorithms, which would take effect in March.