China steps up pressure on tech with draft online advertising rules

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SHANGHAI, Nov.26 (Reuters) – China’s market regulator on Friday proposed new rules that would increase oversight of online advertising, including stipulating that ads must not affect normal internet usage or mislead users In error.

Chinese authorities have tightened regulations in various sectors this year, with an emphasis on technology.

Search giant Baidu Inc and game publisher Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) warned in recent quarterly results that the near-term outlook for ad sales looks weak, impacted by the pandemic and China’s regulatory crackdown .

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Internet advertising must “meet the requirements of establishing a socialist spiritual civilization and promoting an excellent traditional culture of the Chinese nation,” said the State Administration for Market Regulation.

The proposed rules require platform operators to establish a system for registering and reviewing advertisers and advertisements, and to “monitor and inspect the content of advertisements displayed and published using its information services”.

The proposed rules also call for a ban on advertisements aimed at minors promoting medical treatments, cosmetics and online games “which are not conducive to the physical and mental health of minors”.

The proposed new rules are open for public comment until Dec. 25, the regulator said on its website.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Tencent and delivery giant Meituan (3690.HK) fell 0.5% and 1% respectively after the publication of the draft rules.

In September, China’s cyberspace regulator released draft rules dictating how companies can use algorithmic recommendations, following earlier rules on data use and unfair competition.

Prior to that, Chinese ridesharing giant Didi Chuxing (DIDI.N) was investigated for alleged privacy breaches days after registering in the United States, while e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK) received a record fine of $ 2.8 billion for anti-competitive behavior.

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Reporting by Brenda Goh and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai; Editing by Kim Coghill and Alexander Smith

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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