International Defamation: China’s Strict Internet Publication Law

International defamation Law
A new Chinese law could affect international defamation cases.

Chinese officials adopted a new online publication law. When asked about the statute, President Xi Jinping opined:

“China must improve management of cyberspace and work to ensure high-quality content with positive voices creating a healthy, positive culture that is a force for good.”

What You Need To Know About China’s New Internet Publication Law

  • Called the Online Publishing Service Administrative Rules, the new law went into effect on March 10, 2016.
  • “Internet publication” is vaguely defined; anything posted online could, theoretically, fall under the statute’s reach.
  • The law established a departmental hierarchy for monitoring and reporting on “publishing service providers.”
  • The country’s media industry will likely be encouraged to participate in “professional training and evaluation.”
  • Under the law, content providers may have to obtain a Publishing Service License, for which the application process is expected to be long and nuanced.
  • The new Internet publication law forbids online content that “opposes the principles of the Constitution, threatens national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity or security, divulges state secrets, damages the reputation or interests of the state, incites ethnic hostility or discrimination, endangers social morals or ethnic cultural traditions, advocates heresy or feudal superstition, disseminates rumors, disturbs social order and stability, disseminates obscenity, pornography, gambling, violence, or incites crime or insults others or infringes on their legal rights and interests.

Who Will Be Affected By China’s New Internet Publication Law?

China’s new regulation will mainly affect online media outlets and businesses in Asia. To be safe, any American outfit with Sino-marketing appendages should familiarize themselves with the PRC’s new publication standards.

Western bloggers that cover Asian politics and business should also be on alert.

China Is Crystal Clear: Bye, Felicia Foreign Media

China’s latest move reinforces its efforts to limit “foreign investment into the country’s online publication’s industry.” Apparently, both iTunes and Disney have already been affected by the recent statute.

Contact An International Defamation & Internet Law Attorney

Since opening our doors, the lawyers at Kelly Warner have worked with clients and firms from around the world. Internet law is an international matter, and we always keep the global picture in mind.

To learn more about our international defamation and Internet law practice, click here. If you’re ready to talk, let’s do it.

Article Sources

Shira, D., & Associates. (2016, May 17). Internet Censorship and China’s New Online Publication Law – China Briefing News. Retrieved July 21, 2016, from

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