Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Citizens of Zhaoqing With Public Weixin Accounts Required to Register With Police

As previously noted on this blog, on August 7, 2014, the State Internet Information Office issued the “Interim Rules on the Development and Administration of Instant Messaging Tools and Public Information Services” (即时通信工具公众信息服务发展管理暂行规定). The Rules required providers of instant messaging tool services to verify the identity of anyone applying to operate an account that allows them to post information to the general public (as opposed to a private group of designated users); and to register anyone they approve to operate public accounts with “a government agency responsible for Internet information content.”

On August 8, 2014, in response to questions as to whether the new rule might be a tool to suppress freedom of speech, Xu Feng, head of mobile Internet management at the SIIO, said that it will promote the quality of instant messaging services to ensure that citizens enjoy the convenience of such services and called it the "true freedom of speech."

On July 29, 2014, the following notice appeared on the website of the Zhaoqing People's Government:
In order to strengthen guidance and oversight of speech on Weixin public accounts, all organizations and individuals in our city who have registered to use public Weixin accounts must make a filing with the government within 30 days.

This shall include those who have already opened Weixin public accounts, who must carry out their filing within 30 days, and those who open new accounts in the future, who must carry out their filing with 30 days of opening their account. The content of the filing shall include the basic status of the Weixin public account, as well as information about the user, contact information, etc.  Citizens may got to this website: http://jk.gpt.com.cn/Download/(61号), and download the "Weixin Public Account Registration Form," and submit a truthfully filled in form to the Internet Police Division of the Municipal Public Security Bureau (Address: Zhaoqing, Xinan Road, Traffic Police Department, 8th Floor), and may also submit an image or scan of the form in electronic format to wjzd56810@126.com (Phone: 2739682).

Anyone who has fails to carry out registration in accordance with the after notification shall be subject to sanction by public security agencies or the relevant functional agency in accordance with the "Administrative Measures on Safeguarding the Security of Computer Information Networks with International Connections."



The document, entitled "Notice Regarding Strengthening Administratino of Our Municipality's Public Weixin Accounts" (关于加强我市微信公众号管理工作的通知) included a provision stating:
The Municipal Propaganda Bureau shall, in accordance with the "Rules on the Administration of Internet News Information Services," be responsible for carrying out oversight of all public accounts on Weixin that publish and post news information or convey current affairs and political information to the public, and shall severely punish anyone who takes it upon themselves to write news or post foreign media information without authorization.