China drafts rule against unfair competition in cyber space

22:47, January 14, 2011      

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China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) Friday unveiled a draft regulation intended to deter unfair competition on the Internet after a spat between China's two top Internet firms, Tencent and Qihoo 360, triggered a public outcry last year.

According to the draft regulation, practices of creating and spreading false information, or disrupting the operation of a rival's product would be punished.

Failure to meet the standards set by the regulation could lead to a minimum fine of 10,000 yuan (1,517 U.S. dollars) or a maximum fine of 1 million yuan, or suspension of business, the draft said.

The draft regulation also states that companies should not unilaterally modify, remove, disclose or transfer users' information to a third party.

The draft came in the wake of a month-long tussle between Tencent and Qihoo 360 last September, in which they accused each other of spying, hacking and leaking users' private information, affecting thousands of users.

The row stopped only after the MIIT stepped in, ordering the two firms to apologize to the public.

Source: Xinhua

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