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China Regulations - Mar 2022 Updates

This is part of our series on the regulatory policies updates, reports and advertising laws – January update (RED Bans 29 apps), December update, November update, October update, Anti-monopoly crackdown, PIPL, Advertising law, Medical Advertising

With the rapid development and application of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and blockchain, data has become a factor of production, and data security is closely linked to economic and social development and is related to national security. When the algorithm is abused and the algorithm becomes a technology that restricts users from obtaining new content this further affects the rights and interests of users, even violates personal privacy and can cause trouble.

For example, when using internet content services such as online car-hailing, hotel booking, online shopping, etc., all of them will bring different experiences under the influence of algorithms, but often some old users are additionally controlled for consumption, and new users can always enjoy more affordable service prices.

Content moderations

On March 1 China has officially implemented the “Provisions on the Administration of Algorithm-generated Recommendations for Internet Information Services" to strengthen the protection wall of personal information protection. Article 29 of the "New Regulations" clearly stipulates that the relevant institutions and personnel participating in the security assessment and supervision and inspection of algorithm recommendation services shall keep confidential of personal privacy, personal information and business secrets they know in the performance of their duties, and shall not disclose or Illegally provision to others.

The successive promulgation and implementation of new regulations of national standards mean that the country and the industry have gradually increased the emphasis on personal information protection, and it has also attracted the participation of the industry and enterprises.

March 16 - CAC has sent a team to social media company Douban’s office in Beijing to supervise the “rectification” of “severe online chaos” on its platform. This renewed scrutiny comes after a series of penalties and fines were imposed on Douban last year for violations such as failing to censor “harmful” and “unhealthy” content, promoting “chaotic fan culture,” and collecting excessive user data. The company was penalized 20 times in 2021, with fines totalling RMB 10.5 million. In December 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) ordered the platform to be removed from app stores because of user data violations. So far, its app has not been reinstated.

In July 2021, Alibaba's Taobao open platform issued the "Announcement on Strengthening the Protection of Sensitive Information of Consumer Orders in accordance with the Law", requiring third-party developers and merchants stationed on the Taobao platform to include the consumer's name, mobile phone number, ID card, etc. sensitive information such as addresses to desensitised. At the same time, announced the "JD User Order Privacy Security Plan", which stated that it would desensitise the mobile phone number and landline number in the order, and also promised not to share users' personal information with any company, organisation or individual other than

Consumer privacy protection

Now that the country has officially launched the algorithm, internet giants have successively participated in the new regulations to protect personal privacy from being violated, and gradually entered the era of privacy protection, and the battle for advertising data has also begun.

With the release of the new ATT framework by Apple, it will be updated with the update of iOS14, and immediately began to promote user’s privacy protection capabilities, the hype about their privacy protection capabilities, further made SKAN (SKAdNetwork) the only “voice of truth” in Apple’s advertising ecosystem overnight, the privacy protection cognition war has officially started.

Overall, there is an imminent change in the digital advertising industry – the importance of both advertiser-side data and publisher-side data has increased significantly. Now, as the importance of the first party data continues to increase, this in-roll acquisition between internet media and even advertisers may be further intensified to obtain more data from one party.

Consumer privacy protection will continue to be strengthened, and with the increasingly limited access to data, the way apps acquire users' info and serve ads to users is changing. It is certain that first-party data is "invaluable", in the future, practitioners may even start to create corresponding PDNs (Private Data Networks), and interact with data after multiple encryptions. Establish a private data network that complies with the same data transmission specifications among media, data providers, brands and advertising platforms to complete the secure interaction of data. Ultimately, through the subsequent creative optimisation of content, the disturbance to users will be reduced, users will be happy with the use of data in compliance with regulations, and both parties and even multiple parties will achieve a win-win situation under privacy protection.

Xiaohongshu Bans more accounts

Xiaohongshu's official account "Shuguanjia" released the fourth round of "false longing activity" content rectification announcements. This round of special rectification is mainly to crack down on the content ecology of medical aesthetics. This is also the strictest medical aesthetics special governance in the history of Xiaohongshu. The first batch of 279,000 illegal medical beauty notes have been disposed of, 142,000 medical and cosmetic notes suspected of marketing have been removed, and 168,000 illegal accounts have been punished, including but not limited to illegal medical and cosmetic projects, medical and cosmetic institutions, plastic surgeons, and doctors. All medical beauty marketing content such as beauty products.

This round of rectification is mainly divided into two parts,

  1. Cancel the professional certification of private medical beauty institutions, and only open professional certification for medical beauty in public tertiary hospitals and tertiary hospitals

  2. Check the medical beauty notes produced by ordinary users, clean up, and remove the content and accounts suspected of marketing diversion and violating medical beauty content and accounts will be removed, banned, and downgraded.

In the era of social media, medical aesthetics is an emerging industry, and content in the form of pictures and texts is rapidly spreading among young circles. This kind of false medical and aesthetic content is growing rapidly, which makes it even more difficult for consumers to distinguish between true and false.

This time, Xiaohongshu rectified the medical beauty content to avoid the adverse effects of false longing activity, and it has also become the most stringent medical beauty special treatment in history.

As early as June last year, the National Health Commission, the Central Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Public Security, the General Administration of Customs, the General Administration of Market Monitoring, the State Post Bureau, the State Food and Drug Administration, and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine jointly issued the "Special Rectification for Combating Illegal Medical Beauty Services Work Plan", indicating that the medical aesthetics industry will enter a new round of strict rectification period.

Kuaishou Bans external links

Kuaishou E-commerce recently announced that due to the change of the cooperation agreement between the third-party e-commerce platform and Kuaishou, from March 1, 2022, Taobao Alliance, Jingdong Alliance, etc. will not be able to publish products in Kuaishou live broadcast room.

The link of products from Taobao alliance will not be able to publish the links of goods and services in the shopping cart, short video shopping cart, business details page, etc. in the Kuaishou live broadcast room; the links of goods and services of the Jingdong alliance will not be able to publish the links of goods and services in the shopping cart of the Kuaishou live broadcast room, which can be found at short video shopping carts, business detail pages, etc. publish links to products and services.

Clean Cyberspace

March 17 - Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced a 10-point "clean cyberspace" plan that includes a plan to "rectify" companies that manage social media influencers. The focus of the campaign will include rectifying multi-channel network (MCN) agencies, short video and live-streaming, as well as cracking down on internet rumours.

MCN firms are behind 40 per cent of all accounts with over 10 million followers on China's main social media platforms, according to CAC officials, who said future regulatory measures would target MCN firms whose influencers produce content deemed harmful to society.

In 2021 CAC deployed and carried out 15 "clean" series of special actions such as the rectification of "fan circle" chaos, the rectification of the network environment during the Spring Festival, and the rectification of chaos in user account operation. There are 1.34 billion accounts, more than 7,200 streamers have been banned, more than 2,160 apps and mini-programs have been removed from the shelves, and more than 3,200 websites have been closed.

With our experts helping you navigate the field, you have nothing to worry about. Contact us to talk in-depth about your China strategy and how to avoid all these pitfalls.

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