China’s Ministry of Internet and Information Technology (“MIIT”) has promulgated a new regulation targeting manufacturers of mobile smart devices (such as smart phones) that prohibits them from preinstalling certain apps that raise privacy, security, or prohibited content concerns.  Entitled “Notice Regarding Strengthening the Management of Network Access for Mobile Smart Terminals,” the new regulation forbids mobile smart device manufacturers from pre-installing any app that:

  • collects or modifies a user’s personal information without express notification and user consent;
  • accesses a network without express notification or consent, causing unauthorized bandwidth use, monetary loss, information disclosure, or other negative consequences;
  • affects the smart device’s normal operations or the safe operation of the telecommunications network;
  • contains content restricted by PRC law (e.g., obscene, anti-government, or hate speech); or
  • infringes a user’s personal information, safety, legitimate rights or interests, or prejudices the security of network information.

Continue Reading China Regulates Smart Device Manufacturers’ Use of Pre-installed Apps

A recent decision by a Shanghai court sheds new light onto a vague provision of the PRC Criminal Law and highlights the challenges faced by foreign companies overseeing local operations in China.

On September 28, 2012, Dun & Bradstreet’s local operating subsidiary Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co., Ltd. (“Roadway”) was charged by the Shanghai public prosecutor with “illegally obtaining private information from Chinese citizens.”  As reported by the Chinese press, the private information included the personal data of 150 million Chinese citizens, including their income, job titles, and addresses.

On January 9, 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Shanghai Zhabei District Court found Roadway guilty of illegally purchasing the personal information of private citizens and fined the company RMB $1 million (US $160,648).  Four employees involved in the illegal purchase were also sentenced to up to two years in jail and each fined between RMB $5,000 to RMB $10,000 (US $800 to $1600).

Continue Reading Dun & Bradstreet Reportedly Fined RMB $1 Million for Illegally Obtaining Personal Information in China; Four Employees Imprisoned