The Chinese ministry has issued new rules that ban any foreign-invested company from publishing anything online in China, effective next month. This move will effectively shut down any news outlets, publishers, gaming companies, information providers, and entertainment companies.
The banning of foreign media in China will be a hard blow to companies like Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and the New York Times who have collectively invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build up the Chinese publishing industry and do reports in Chinese, for a Chinese audience.
The only way anyone is going to publish anything online in China next month is if the business is 100% owned by Chinese companies and they must gain official approval from the regulatory authorities.
There is also new publishing laws that will be going into effect next month as well. Anyone found in breech of these new rules will have their publishing license revoked and will likely face arrest.
- harming national unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity
- disclosing state secrets, endangering national security, or harming national honor and interests
- inciting ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, undermining national unity, or going against ethnic customs and habits
- spreading rumors, disturbing social order, or undermining social stability
- insulting or slandering others, infringing upon the legitimate rights of others
- endangering social morality or national cultural tradition
I think the Chinese government is going to be facing an uphill battle with trying to enforce these draconian new policies. The market forces are moving against them in an age where anyone can self-publish.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.