We believe this new initiative will have a bigger impact on foreign app stores, which will face more stringent censorship. Foreign entities may need to pay attention to the developments to ensure smooth distribution and operation of its apps.

On January 13, 2017, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) issued the Notice on Initiating Recordation of Internet App Stores (“Notice”). As of January 16, 2017, all app stores must file for recordation with the provincial-level cyberspace authority according to the Notice, a measure to implement the Regulations on the Administration of Mobile Internet App Information Services (“Regulation on APP”) issued by CAC in mid 2016.

According to the CAC spokesperson, the initiative aims to identify and crack down such violations as distributing illegal information, infringing online users’ rights and endangering public security on apps.
All app stores must record for start of operation, modification of recorded items and termination of operation. App stores refusing recordation, providing false information, or having severe violations in operation will be penalized according to law.

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