Legal Primer: Regulation Of China’s Digital Game Industry

China Regulation Watch

December 5, 2022

By: Greg Pilarowski | Charles Yu | Zhu Ziwei

 

1.  Introduction

          This is the sixth edition of our legal primer on the regulation of China’s digital game industry. This edition, like its predecessors, provides an overview of the relevant laws and regulations, as well as actual industry practice in the People’s Republic of China (the “PRC” or “China”).[1] In doing so we draw upon not only the written rules, but also informal comments from regulators and other industry participants, in addition to the many years of experience that our attorneys have advising clients in China’s digital game industry.

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China’s Foreign Ownership Restrictions and the VIE Structure

China Regulation Watch

November 16, 2022

By:  Charles Yu | Ziwei Zhu

1.  Foreign Ownership Restrictions

         Foreign investment in the People’s Republic of China (the “PRC”) is either restricted or prohibited in several industries such as the telecommunications industry, which includes most internet focused businesses. The primary regulation with respect to foreign investment restrictions in China is the Special Administrative Measures for the Access of Foreign Investment (Negative List) (外商投资准入特别管理措施 (负面清单)), as amended from time to time on a regular basis, which provides a negative list that contains the prohibited and restricted categories of industry for foreign investment.[1] The telecommunication industry, for example, is classified as restricted,[2] while internet cultural activities and online publishing services are classified as prohibited.[3]

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Security Assessment for Cross-Border Data Transfers

China Regulation Watch

July 20, 2022

By:  Zhu Ziwei | Alexandra Ashbrook

  1. Introduction

       On July 7, 2022, the Cyberspace Administration of China (国家互联网信息办公室)(“CAC”) released the final version of the Cross-Border Data Transfer Security Assessment Measures (数据出境安全评估办法) (the “Security Assessment Measures”). The Security Assessment Measures set forth requirements for the transfer of personal information and important data collected within the territory of People’s Republic of China (“China” or “PRC”) out of China after passing a security assessment conducted by the CAC.

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Standard Contract for Cross-Border Transfers of Personal Information

China Regulation Watch

July 7, 2022

By:  Zhu Ziwei | Alexandra Ashbrook

  1. Introduction

         On June 30, 2022, the Cyberspace Administration of China (国家互联网信息办公室)(“CAC”) released draft  Personal Information Cross-Border Transfer Standard Contract Provisions (个人信息出境标准合同规定) (the “Draft Standard Contract Provisions”) together with the form standard contract (the “Standard Contract”) for public comments. Entering into a standard contract with overseas recipients of personal information in a form provided by the CAC is one of three approaches that enable personal information processors[1] to legitimately provide personal information collected in People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or “China”) to overseas recipients. The other two approaches include a security assessment by the CAC and receiving professional agency certification.[2] This article provides an overview of the Draft Standard Contract Provisions and an analysis of the Standard Contract.

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Cross-Border Personal Information Processing Security Certification Specifications

China Regulation Watch

July 1, 2022

By:  Zhu Ziwei | Alexandra Ashbrook

  1.  Introduction

          On June 24, 2022, the Secretary of the National Information Security Standard Technology Committee (全国信息安全标准化技术委员会秘书处) issued Cross-Border Personal Information Processing Security Certification Specifications (个人信息跨境处理活动安全认证规范) (“Certification Specifications”), which provide practical guidance on professional agency certification approaches for companies that transfer personal information collected within the People’s Republic of China (“China” or “PRC”) to overseas recipients.

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China Proposes an Initiative to Guide Compliant Issuances of Non-Fungible Tokens

China Regulation Watch

May 24, 2022

By: Zhu Ziwei | Alexandra Ashbrook

    1. Background

        On April 13, 2022, the National Internet Finance Association of China (中国互联网金融协会), the China Banking Association (中国银行业协会) and the Securities Association of China (中国证券业协会) jointly issued an Initiative on Preventing the Financial Risk of Non-Fungible Tokens (the “NFT Initiative”), which identifies illegal uses of non-fungible tokens (“NFT(s)”) as financial assets in certain transactions. Continue reading “China Proposes an Initiative to Guide Compliant Issuances of Non-Fungible Tokens”

Is Apple China Removing Ad-Only Games?

China Regulation Watch

April 27, 2022

By: Greg Pilarowski | Charles Yu | Alexandra Ashbrook

  1. Introduction

      Apple Inc. (“Apple”) recently began removing from its China App Store mobile games that monetize only through in-game advertisements (“Ad-Only Games”) if the game does not have the required game approval number issued by the National Administration of Press and Publication (国家新闻出版署) (“NPPA”). Previously, unapproved Ad-Only Games were one of the few types of games that Apple did not remove from the China App Store when Apple began enforcing the game approval requirements in the summer of 2020. Continue reading “Is Apple China Removing Ad-Only Games?”

Is China Banning All Unapproved Games from Live Streaming?

China Regulation Watch

April 22, 2022

By: Charles Yu | Zhu Ziwei | Alexandra Ashbrook

1. Introduction

      On April 12, 2022, the National Radio and Television Administration (国家广播电视总局) (the “NRTA”) and the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee (中央宣传部) (the “CPD”) issued the Notice on Strengthening the Administration of Game Live Streaming on Online Audio-Visual Platforms (关于加强网络视听节目平台游戏直播管理的通知) (the “Game Live Streaming Notice”), pursuant to which online audio-visual content, such as online movies and television, online entertainment shows, live streams, and other short videos, are prohibited from displaying games that are not approved by a relevant authority. Similarly, the Game Live Streaming Notice also prohibits various platforms from attracting user visits for unapproved or illegal gaming content.

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Implementing China’s Personal Information Protection Law

China Regulation Watch

January 13, 2022

By: Greg Pilarowski | Zhu Ziwei | Alexandra Ashbrook

  1. Introduction

         On August 20, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (全国人大常务委员会) (the “Standing Committee”) issued the Personal Information Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China (个人信息保护法) (“PIPL”), which became effective on November 1, 2021. The final version of PIPL followed two prior draft versions that the Standing Committee released for public comment on October 21, 2020, and April 30, 2021.

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China Limits Minor Online Game Time to Three Hours Per Week

 

China Regulation Watch

September 14, 2021

 

By: Greg Pilarowski | Charles Yu | Zhu Ziwei

 

1.  Backgrounds

 

         On August 30, 2021, the National Press and Publication Administration (国家新闻出版署) (“NPPA”) issued the Notice on Further Strengthening Regulation to Effectively Prevent Online Gaming Addictions Among Minors (进一步严格管理 切实防止未成年人沉迷网络游戏的通知) (the “2021 Anti-Addiction Notice”), pursuant to which the authorities reduced the permitted online game time for minors under 18 years of age from 13.5 hours per week to 3 hours per week. Continue reading “China Limits Minor Online Game Time to Three Hours Per Week”