The following is the full text of "Measures for Administering the Release of News and Information in China by Foreign News Agencies" issued by Xinhua News Agency on Sunday.
Measures for Administering the Release of News and Information in China by Foreign News Agencies
Article 1. These Measures are formulated in accordance with national laws, administrative regulations and the relevant regulations of the State Council to regulate the release of news and information in China by foreign news agencies and the subscription of such news and information by users in China and to promote the dissemination of news and information in a sound and orderly manner.
Article 2. These Measures shall be applicable to the release of news and information in text, photo, graphics and other forms in China by foreign news agencies.
For the purposes of these Measures, foreign news agencies include other foreign entities of the nature of a news agency that release news and information products.
Article 3. Xinhua News Agency exercises unified administration over the release of news and information in China by foreign news agencies.
Article 4. According to the Decision of the State Council on Establishment of Administrative Licenses for Items Subject to Administrative Examination and Approval That Need to Be Retained, for releasing their news and information in China, foreign news agencies shall be subject to approval by Xinhua News Agency and shall have entities designated by Xinhua News Agency act as their agents (hereinafter referred to as designated entities). Foreign news agencies shall not directly solicit subscription of their news and information services in China.
Except the designated entities, no unit or individual shall distribute news and information of foreign news agencies or act as their agents.
Article 5. To apply for releasing news and information in China, a foreign news agency shall meet the following requirements:
(1) being legally qualified in its home country or region;
(2) enjoying good credit in the field of news and information release;
(3) having an explicit scope of business;
(4) possessing the technological and transmitting means commensurate with its business; and
(5) other requirements as prescribed by Chinese laws and administrative regulations.
Article 6. For releasing news and information in China, a foreign news agency shall submit a written application and the following materials to Xinhua News Agency:
(1) legal credentials issued by the competent authorities of its home country or region;
(2) its records of good credit issued by the relevant organization of its home country or region;
(3) a detailed list, explanation and samples of the news and information release;
(4) an illustration of its transmitting means; and
(5) other materials as specified by Xinhua News Agency.
Article 7. An entity to be designated as an agent of a foreign news agency for the distribution of news and information in China shall meet the following requirements and submit a written application to Xinhua News Agency:
(1) being legally qualified;
(2) enjoying good credit in acting as an agent for news and information distribution;
(3) possessing the service network and transmitting means commensurate with its business; and
(4) other requirements as prescribed by Chinese laws and administrative regulations and rules of government departments.
Article 8. Xinhua News Agency shall, within 20 days from the date it receives the written application of a foreign news agency or designated entity, make a decision on whether to grant or not to grant the application. If it decides to grant the application, it shall issue the document of approval; otherwise, it shall notify the applicant of the decision in writing and explain the reasons why.
Article 9. Before releasing news and information in China in accordance with the scope of business approved in the approval document, a foreign news agency shall sign an agency agreement with the designated entity, and within 15 days from the date of the agreement is signed, submit the agreement to Xinhua News Agency for the record.
Article 10. Before altering its scope of business, transmitting means, etc., a foreign news agency shall apply anew to Xinhua News Agency for an approval document.
Article 11. News and information released in China by foreign news agencies shall not contain any of the following that serves to:
(1) violate the basic principles enshrined in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China;
(2) undermine China's national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity;
(3) endanger China's national security, reputation and interests;
(4) violate China's religious policies or preach evil cults or superstition;
(5) incite hatred and discrimination among ethnic groups, undermine their unity, infringe upon their customs and habits, or hurt their feelings;
(6) spread false information, disrupt China's economic and social order, or undermine China's social stability;
(7) propagate obscenity and violence, or abet crimes;
(8) humiliate or slander another person, or infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of another person;
(9) undermine social ethics or the fine cultural traditions of the Chinese nation; and
(10) include other content banned by Chinese laws and administrative regulations.
Article 12. Xinhua News Agency has the right to select the news and information released by foreign news agencies in China and shall delete any materials as specified in Article 11 of these Measures.
Article 13. To subscribe to news and information services of foreign news agencies, a user in China shall sign a subscription agreement with a designated entity and shall not, by any means, directly subscribe to, translate, edit or publish the news and information released by a foreign news agency.
In using news and information from a foreign news agency, the user in China shall clearly indicate the sources and shall not transfer them to another party in any form.
Article 14. Foreign news agencies and designated entities shall, within the prescribed time limit, submit reports each year to Xinhua News Agency on their work in releasing news and information and in acting as agents respectively.
Xinhua News Agency may conduct examination and inspection on the basis of what is reported. Only those agencies and entities that have passed the examination and inspection are permitted to continue with their news and information release and agency business.
Article 15. Any unit or individual has the right to report to Xinhua News Agency any violation of these Measures. And Xinhua News Agency shall investigate and deal with the violation according to law.
Article 16. Where a foreign news agency violates the Measures in one of the following manners, Xinhua News Agency shall give it a warning, demand rectification within a prescribed time limit, suspend its release of specified content, suspend or cancel its qualifications of a foreign news agency for releasing news and information in China, on the merits of each case:
(1) releasing news and information beyond the scope of business as approved in the approval document;
(2) directly soliciting subscription of news and information services, or doing so in disguised form; and
(3) distributing news and information which contains the material specified in Article 11 of these Measures.
Article 17. Where a user in China violates the provisions of these Measures in one of the following manners, Xinhua News Agency shall give it a warning, demand rectification within a prescribed time limit or order the designated entities to suspend or rescind the subscription agreement, on the merits of each case:
(1) using the news and information from a foreign news agency beyond the scope as prescribed by the subscription agreement;
(2) transferring to another party news and information from a foreign news agency that it has subscribed to; and
(3) failing to indicate the sources clearly when using news and information from a foreign news agency.
Article 18. Where a unit or individual violates the provisions of these Measures in one of the following manners, Xinhua News Agency shall submit a proposal to the relevant department of the State Council to impose an administrative penalty according to law:
(1) releasing news and information without approval by Xinhua News Agency or subscribing to news and information of a foreign news agency without going through the entity designated by Xinhua News Agency;
(2) distributing news and information of a foreign news agency or acting as its agent without approval; and
(3) directly translating, editing or publishing news and information of a foreign news agency without approval.
Article 19. Where a designated entity, in violation of the provisions of these Measures, acts as an agent for distribution of the news and information of a foreign news agency that has not obtained approval of Xinhua News Agency, Xinhua News Agency shall order it to rectify, and disciplinary penalties shall be imposed on the persons directly in charge and the other persons directly responsible.
Article 20. Where a staff member of Xinhua News Agency commits one of the following acts, Xinhua News Agency shall impose on him a disciplinary penalty:
(1) issuing approval document to an applicant that does not meet the requirements specified in these Measures;
(2) failing to perform his duties of supervision and administration in accordance with law;
(3) failing to investigate and deal with violations of law upon receiving reports thereon; and
(4) abusing his powers, neglecting his duties, or engaging in malpractices for personal gain, etc.
Article 21. These Measures shall be applied mutatis mutandis to the release of news and information on the mainland by news agencies and other news and information releasing entities of the nature of a news agency in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan.
Article 22. These Measures shall go into effect as of the date of promulgation. The Methods for the Exercise of Administration over Publication in China of Economic Information by Foreign News Agencies and Their Information Subsidiaries, promulgated by Xinhua News Agency on April 15, 1996, are repealed simultaneously.