Will all online foreign media publishing be banned in China?

Some worrying news coming from China today:

In the latest sign that China’s long-touted “opening up” is reversing into a “closing down,” a Chinese ministry has issued new rules that ban any foreign-invested company from publishing anything online in China, effective next month.

Quartz and The New York Times report that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s new rules could shut down China as a market for foreign news outlets, since any text, music, image, videogame, animation… published online should be owned and stored by a 100% Chinese company in order to be accessible in China.

Although this draconian rule seems hard to enforce on the web, it is a clear sign of the direction that the Government is taking regarding western investors. Chinese authorities seem ready to make greater effort to bring anything published by foreign companies under Chinese law.

The regulations stipulate that anything published online should “serve the people” and promote socialism and do no harm to national interests, barring, for instance, the spreading of rumors or propagating evil cults.

It is still unknown what types of content and which organizations would be affected by these new regulations, so let’s wait and see for the new developments in this worrying piece of news.

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