China will not allow operation of APPs without filing since July next year

Asian Tech Press (Aug 10) -- China's technology industry regulator recently issued a notice requiring APP developers engaged in Internet information services within the country to file their applications.

In the notice issued on August 4, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said that those who fail to fulfill the filing procedures will not be allowed to engage in Internet information services.

In fact, the order in question requires developers to obtain approval from the MIIT in order to launch and operate an APP in China.

Nevertheless, the Chinese regulator has set aside 10 months for the transition, which means that from July 2024, no APP will be allowed to operate in China without filing.

The notice stipulates that APP developers should truthfully fill in the information required by the MIIT, such as the characteristic information, basic information and access information of their APPs, when going through the filing procedures.

It also specifically states that APP developers engaged in Internet information services such as news, publishing, education, film and television, and religion should also submit documents of approval by the relevant competent authorities to the provincial communications administration where they are domiciled when fulfilling the filing procedures.

Notably, the objects restricted by the new measures include programs pre-installed, downloaded and installed on smart terminals, as well as programs that are open based on the interface of an open platform for application software and can be accessed by users without installation.

The MIIT said its aim is to "crack down and control crimes of telecommunication-network fraud."

However, some industry insiders believe the move could limit the number of apps available in China and hit small app developers hard.

WeChat, owned by Chinese social media giant Tencent, said Wednesday that WeChat apps must also comply with the new rules.

Starting in September, new WeChat apps must be file before the launch, and those that have already listed will be removed if they fail to complete the filing by the end of March next year, the company said.

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