China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently released new regulations covering competitive practices in the country’s booming Internet industry, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
The new rules are aimed at regulating the Internet information services market and protect the rights of Internet service providers as well as of the users, the ministry said.
“The rules also aim to promote healthy development of the Internet industry according to ‘Telecommunications Regulations,’ ‘Internet Information Services’ and other laws and administrative regulations,” the ministry said.
“The new rules bar companies from infringing on the ‘legal rights and interests’ of other online service providers, such as by ‘maliciously’ interfering with services from other companies on a user’s device,” according to the WSJ.
Other rules prohibit maliciously blocking users from accessing services offered by other Internet companies, tricking users into downloading software, and suspension of services without good reason.
“Competition in Internet information services is getting more intense each day, and illegal incidents are gradually rising,” said Li Guobin, an inspector in the ministry’s politics and law section.
The new rules, which take effect from March 15, describes pop-up ads as a necessary evil, adding that Internet service providers should provide a way of closing them.
“Since the free (services) model in China’s Internet services industry is built on subsidies from ad revenue, if pop-up ad windows were totally banned, it would change the industry’s current business model, in the end hurting the interests of users and affecting the industry’s development,” Guobin says in a statement on the ministry’s website.