This article is part of the series on China’s regulatory policy updates, reports and advertising laws. If you have missed out on any of the articles from this series, you can click the following titles to read more – Anti-Monopoly Crackdown, PIPL, Advertising Law, October Update, November Update, December Update, January Update (XiaoHongShu Bans 39 Brands), Medical Advertising, March Update, IP Location Regulations, Didi US$1.2 Billion Fine, Measures for Security Assessment of Data Export.
China's new regulations on pop-up windows on the internet were officially implemented on September 30, strengthening standardized management of pop-up window information push services
China’s “Provisions on the Administration of Internet Pop-up Information Push Services” officially came into force on September 30, 2022. This “regulation” aims to strengthen the standardized management of pop-up window information push services and strive to solve the problems caused by the illegal use of pop-up advertisements to promote the healthy and orderly development of internet information services.
Many of us have encountered advertisements while watching news or videos, but could not find the button to close the advertisement, or the close button is set very small, so it was often accidentally clicked to land on the advertisement content page. For a long time, advertising revenue has been one of the most important revenue sources for internet platforms, the “landing rate” of pop-up advertising is higher than other advertising, and the permission and attention of pop-up ads are high, thus user click-through rates are also high, but uncontrolled and bottomless push pop-up advertisements have seriously affected the user experience.
The “Internet Pop-up Information Push Service Management Regulations” are based on the current reality, and focus their attention on the most important issues, such as pop-up news information push, pop-up information content orientation, and pop-up window advertising, focusing on solving the problem of pop-up push violations mentioned at the beginning, including illegal push news information, pop-up window advertising logo that is not obvious, the inability to close the advertisement with a single click, malicious speculative entertainment gossip, excessive push frequency, an unreasonable proportion of push information content, clickbait for fraudulent traffic and other issues. This also indicates that the continuous proliferation of advertising, vulgar content and entertainment hype to gain traffic and attention by many APP platforms will be eradicated.
The following are the “Provisions on the Administration of Internet Pop-up Information push Services” stipulating that internet pop-up information push services shall comply with the following 9 requirements.
(1) It is not allowed to disseminate illegal and negative information as stipulated in the “Provision on the Ecological Governance of Online Information Content”, especially content that violates public order and good morals, such as malicious speculation on entertainment gossip, private scandal, an extravagant display of wealth, trial ugliness and other contents, and shall not use malicious speculation for the purpose of focusing on relevant old news on a certain topic;
(2) Those who have not obtained an internet news information service license shall not disseminate news information through pop-up windows, and the info pushed through pop-up windows involving other internet information services, shall be reviewed and approved by the relevant authorities or obtain relevant licenses;
(3) When disseminating news through a pop-up window, strictly comply with the “List of Sources of Internet News Information” issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China, and do not reprint beyond the scope, do not distort or tamper with the original meaning of the title and content of the news information, and ensure that the source of the news information can be traced;
(4) Increase the diversity of information pushed through pop-up windows, scientifically determine the proportion of news information and content in vertical fields, embody positive and healthy mainstream values, and do not focus on pushing or hyping trending sensitive events, vicious cases, disasters, accidents, etc., causing social panic;
(5) Improve the management specifications of pop-up information push content, improve the work process of information screening, editing and pushing, and equip the audit force to match the scale of the service, and strengthen the audit of pop-up information content;
(6) Protect users’ rights and interests, clearly inform users about the specific form, frequency of content, cancellation channels, etc., of the pop-up information push service through service agreements, fully consider the user experience, scientifically plan the push frequency, and shall not conduct unreasonable differential push to ordinary users and member users, shall not interfere or influence the user to close the pop-up window in any way, indicate the identity of the pop-up window information push service provider;
(7) It is not allowed to create algorithm models that violate laws and regulations or violate ethics and morals by inducing users to indulge in addiction, excessive consumption, etc.; algorithms must not be used to implement malicious information blocking, excessive recommendations, and other such behaviours; do not use algorithms to profile minors and push information that may affect their physical and mental health;
(8) Pop-up window displaying advertising information should be identifiable, clearly indicating “advertisement” and include a close sign to ensure that the pop-up advertisement is closed with a single click;
(9) Third-party links, QR codes, and other information that maliciously divert and redirect traffic by means of pop-up information pushes are not allowed; and enticing users to click through pop-up information push services to perform traffic fraud and traffic hijacking is not allowed.
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