The Separation of Internet Content Regulation in the face of the Convergence of Information and Communication Technologies: The Controversies, Challenges and Solutions for China

Wei-guang WU


More than ten different departments in China have varying responsibilities for the regulation of the content of publications on the Internet. This separated regulatory structure has caused many challenges in the face of the convergence of information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly the Internet. These challenges include the high compliance cost to ICT enterprises which effectively reduce incentives for high-tech startup companies and are detrimental to the innovative ability of the Internet itself. More generally, it creates tension for China’s successful engagement with the international community, decreases the international competitiveness of the Chinese ICT enterprises and stifles the development of global ICTs. China needs to adopt a more sophisticated approach to regulate Internet content and overcome these challenges in the near future. Failure to do so will widen the gap between China and the world’s developed countries in the Information Age.
Key words: the Internet; the regulation of the Internet; content regulation; China
Résumé: Plus d’une dizaine de départements différents en Chine assument les responsabilités variées du contrôle du contenu des publications sur Internet. Cette structure régulatrice séparée a causé beaucoup de défis en face de la convergence des informations, des technologies de communication et surtout de l’Internet. Tous ces défis contiennent un coût de conformité élevé pour les entreprises ICT(Information and communication technologies en anglais), qui découragent effectivement les startups high-tech et qui sont défavorables pour la capacité innovatrice d’Internet lui-même.Plus généralement, il crée de la tension pour l’engagement de la Chine avec la communauté internationale, diminue la compétitivité internationales des entreprises ICT chinoises et ralentit le développement de l’ICT. La Chine a besoin d’adopter une approche plus sophistiquée pour régulariser le contenu d’Internet et surmonter tous ces défis dans le proche futur. Si l’on faillit faire cela, la distance entre la Chine et les pays développés s’agrandira dans l’Age d’Information.
Mots-Clés: Internet; régularisation d’Internet; contrôle du contenu; la Chine

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