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China says apps that influence public opinion require security review

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China’s Cyberspace Administration has released draft regulations that govern how apps for mobile phones should function. The rules state that app providers shouldn’t use their software for activities that threaten national security and disrupt the social order.

Qi Yang | Moment | Getty Images

China’s cyberspace regulator announced Wednesday that apps that could influence public opinion and developers of such apps must undergo security checks.

Beijing is taking another step in its efforts to control the internet and monitor it.

It is not clear what functions and technologies regulators view as potentially influencing public opinion.

These new rules are part of an increasingly powerful Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), Wednesday’s draft regulation that seeks to establish a framework for app maker operations.

The rules state that app providers shouldn’t use their software for activities that threaten national security and disrupt the social order.

The CAC stated that any news apps need to obtain a license. This is subjected to approval by regulators. China’s news ecosystem is heavily state-owned and highly censored.

China has increased regulation in the technology industry, from cybersecurity and antitrust over the past year.

The CAC’s new document brings together previous laws and regulations into one set of rules — though much of it is not new.

The app developers should have strong data security in place, as well. China already has passed the aforementioned requirements. landmark personal data protection lawLast year.

According to Wednesday’s draft rules, users must sign up for the app with their actual identity. It is a practice that is already in place for some time in China. Real identity is tied to mobile phones numbers and state-issued ID cards.

Although the cyberspace regulator stated that they are available for public comment, and that the rules would be in force by this year’s end, it was not clear when exactly.

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