China to regulate foreign investors in Internet services
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-31 09:47

Regulations for foreign investors operating internet services in China have been tightened. Websites they run using rented licenses will be closed.

Domestic telecom companies should not lease or sell licenses to foreign investors, the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) said in a circular issued this week.

Five years ago, China issued regulations concerning foreign investors' telecom business operations and most foreign investors follow the procedure strictly, said the MII.

However, some unauthorized foreign investors continue to improperly offer services using shared or borrowed licenses, or Chinese partners' domain names and trademarks, it said.

China has 123 million netizens, the world's second biggest internet user population after the United States. Foreign capital is trying to get its share of the great business opportunities.

The ministry asked departments concerned to launch checks on websites before November 1. Websites which operate with borrowed or rented licenses will have to reapply for a license.

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