The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) requires app providers on the mainland to adopt real-name registration for users and preserve their users’ activity logs for 60 days.
The new rules issued on Tuesday also forbids app providers from covertly collecting information on users’ location and contact information among other violations of users’ rights through mobile apps.
Under the new rules, CAC also holds app providers accountable for content monitoring and demands them to issue warnings, restrict access, suspend updates or shut down accounts of users who disseminate illegal information, such as violent, terrorist, pornographic content and rumors.
Expected to take effect from August 1, the new rules still allow users to assume user names when using these apps, but not before registering with their real names.
CAC also rules that app providers should respect and protect intellectual property rights.
Meanwhile, App stores, including Apple’s app store, are required to review the authenticity, security and legitimacy of providers’ identities. Almost every smartphone maker in China has its own app store preinstalled in its phones. Baidu and other IT companies also have app stores for mobile users.
CAC estimates that there are 4 million apps in China and the number is growing.
However, reviewing overseas app providers and stores operating in China remains a major challenge as different countries adopt different standards for their mobile app markets.