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

Defamation Case Examples: Comic Loses Slander Lawsuit Over Joke

defamation case example: politician v. comic
Defamation Case Example: An Australian Politician Wins Slander Lawsuit Against Celebrity Comic

Aussie Comic Mick Molloy and the Ten Network lost a defamation appeal involving jokes about former federal Labor candidate Nicole Cornes.

Defamation Case Examples: Politician v. Comic

Back in 2008, on Australian TV show Before The Game, comic Mick Molloy made some arguably sexist remarks about a female politician, Nicole Cornes.

Distressed by the comments, Cornes sued Molloy for defamation. Cornes alleged that Molloy, in conjunction with Ten Network, damaged her reputation by questioning her spousal fidelity. Her husband, Graham Cornes – a former Adelaide Crows Coach – was also peeved with the accusations.

Long story short: she won and collected $85,000.

Defendant Blasted Judge’s Intellectual Prowess After Losing

Ostensibly angry about the ruling, Molloy lobbed criticism at the judge, concluding that his jokes must have been “too intellectual” for the officiant to understand.

He also taunted that Before The Game viewers “got the jokes.” Besides, he insisted, they weren’t meant to cause harm.

But the Court disagreed with the funny man and denied Molloy’s appeal.

Judges Weren’t Feeling Molloy — or His Humor — in this Defamation Case Example

The three presiding judges issued blunt opinions. Justice Tom Gray wrote that Molloy’s quips were not “jocular or comedic in nature” or “humorous.” Chief Justice Chris Kourakis said the jokes “fell very flat.”

Short History of Defamation Law in Australia

In 1979 The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) issued a  report titled Unfair Publication: Defamation and Privacy, which called for country-wide defamation law unity. States were ordered to update slander and libel statutes in an attempt to  mollify cross-jurisdictional differences that resulted in inconsistent governance.

However, by 1998, things were still in a precarious state. Some states and territories had made changes; others didn’t. It would take another five years before Parliament gaveled in a single set of defamation laws and acceptable defenses.

The Australian Defamation Act of 2006 brought more uniformity to the country’s slander and libel laws.

Click here for a summary of Australian defamation laws.

Defamation Laws Around the World

If you have an interest in defamation laws around the world, check out the Kelly / Warner’s International Defamation Law Database. We’ve compiled a resource for people who want to know more about slander and libel standards around the globe.


Click Here For More Defamation Case Examples »