Just one clause, and I’m out of there

A contact of mine kindly sent me an invitation to a Chinese business networking site, called Ushi. All seemed well till I looked at the terms and conditions, which have, inter alia:

You agree to abide by any and all the related Chinese laws and regulations of the Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China, Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China and its implementing regulations, Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Preserving Computer Network Security (“Security Decision of the National People’s Congress”), Law of the People’s Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets, the Telecommunication Statute of the People’s Republic of China (“the Telecommunication Statute”), the Computer Information Security Protection System Regulations of PRC, INTERIM PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE MANAGEMENT OF THE COMPUTER INFORMATION NETWORKS IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA CONNECTING TO THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK and measures for implementation, Administration of the Maintenance of Secrets in the International Networking of Computer Information Systems, Administration of Internet Information Services Procedures, MEASURES FOR SECURITY PROTECTION ADMINISTRATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING OF COMPUTER INFORMATION NETWORKS, Administration of Internet Electronic Messaging Services Provisions (“Electronic Messaging Provisions”). You also agree to be fully responsible for any behaviors and the any possible result due to the misuse of your account and password in this or that way. Any violation of Security Decision of the National People’s Congress may constitute a crime and you might be prosecuted for the crime. According to the Telecommunication Statute, telecommunication users assume liability for message contents and result transmitted via a communication network. In any case, should Ushi.cn have reasons to conclude that any of your behaviors, including but not limited to any of your words and other behaviors, have violated or may violate any of the above mentioned laws and regulations, the service offered by Ushi.cn will be immediately terminated at any time without prior notice.

   Mainland China has an awful lot of laws relating to the internet—not very Confucian.
   This scares me off, big time. I’m cool with contract law and copyright law, and I have the basics there when it comes to the PRC. The rest: I really don’t have time to look up the legislation and procedures.
   It is so tempting to accept the invitation, given the way the business world is heading, but until the People’s Republic can do something about cleaning up its legislative framework, it’s a no to Ushi.
   I’m sure that when browsing other Chinese sites, I have not been confronted with quite this much. Or maybe I just haven’t browsed enough in the dot-cn space?

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2 thoughts on “Just one clause, and I’m out of there

  1. Jack, you are quite right. There’s an awful lot of laws governing the Internet in China and things are getting more complicated all the time. At iWantMyName we’ve had to remove the .CN domain from our listings because the rules governing foreign ownership of China domains got tightened earlier this year.

    It’s a shame because the market for web-based services in China is huge and there are opportunities for growth and learning that will be missed as a result. The way in which you got scared of Ushi is a perfect example, but sites that do not comply simply get shut down.

    Below is a short article from the iWantMyName blog explaining the latest developments:


    PS: Thanks for your comments on brands today. It was a lively discussion. I’m on a steep learning curve.

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