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China plans tighter controls over mobile app providers

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China has issued a proposal requiring some mobile app operators to undergo security reviews and strengthen protection for minors. This is Beijing’s latest step in strengthening surveillance of the country’s large Internet sector.

China’s top Internet watchdog, the China Cyberspace Administration, proposed a broad revision to mobile app regulations on Wednesday. This can affect public opinion or mobilize society after getting a license to publish news and receive security reviews from the news app operator.

The first revision of mobile app regulations, which came into force in 2016, focuses on cybersecurity measures, privacy of personal data, and requires stricter protection for minors in the app.

This proposal is based on several new Internet-related laws passed in China in 2021. This includes the Personal Information Protection Act, one of the strictest data privacy laws in the world, said Xu Xinming, a lawyer at the China Intellectual Property Attorney Network.

Some analysts said the move wasn’t a surprise after announcing a new rule on Tuesday requiring Beijing to undergo a cybersecurity review before going public. In August, authorities also announced new guidelines for data collection by app makers.

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