Earlier this month, Q Daily 好奇心日报, a Shanghai-based website, was ordered to halt original news reporting, which the authorities called “illegal news information services.” Founded in 2014, Q Daily is known for its relatively progressive coverage on public issues.
Permits for online news and informationservices are required by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). While — technically — any website that publishes news or information about anything requires such a permit, enforcement has traditionally been spotty.
But in these tightening times for media, we can expect “illegal online news and information services” to be a more frequent charge against companies or people who publish information the Party does not like. There are three types of permit for legal online news and information services in China:
Editing and publishing (采编发布服务 cǎibiān fābù fúwù) — required for original reportage. Although this permit is technically required for any original reporting, fashion websites are unlikely to get into trouble for reporting on new designs — unless that reportage is in some way objectionable.Forwarding and reposting (转载服务 zhuǎnzǎi fúwù) — news aggregation, such as found on commercial news portals, including Sina, Tencent, Netease, and Phoenix. Words of the aggregated stories may not be modified if stories are reposted.Information dissemination (传播平台服务 chuánbō píngtái fúwù) — this is for user-generated content and social media such as Weibo, WeChat, and any site and app that allows individual users to create and aggregate content.
A state media insider has written a guide to these permits and how to get them for SupChina: Click through for more on the rules for legal news in China.