Foreign companies not allowed to publish online content without Chinese approval

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued a new directive that limits the publication of online foreign content on Chinese servers. According to the directive, companies that have – at least in part – foreign ownership ‘will be stopped from publishing words, pictures, maps, games, animation and sound of an ‘informational and thoughtful nature”, except if they obtain the approval from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. According to Paul Gillis, visiting professor at Peking University, the new directive will not bring significant changes in practice, as there is already a significant degree of online control by the Chinese government. However, ‘a lot of what might have been common practices before are being put into legislation so China can argue it’s operating under the rule of law.’