Regulation of domain name services is facing new challenges with the rapid increase in the domain name business organizations and service types that came alongside the speedy development of the Internet. To maintain the security of the Internet and information and promote the healthy and orderly development of the domain name industry, the Measures for the Administration of Internet Domain Names (hereinafter, the “Measures”) were amended via Directive No. 43 of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and came into effect on November 1, 2017.
The Measures as amended are primarily highlighted below:
- The Measures names the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to regulate nationwide domain name services, while the communications authorities at the provincial, autonomous region and municipal level under the direct jurisdiction of the State Council shall regulate domain name services within their administrative areas.
- The domain name licensing system is improved. An application to establish an Internet domain name registration service shall be submitted to the provincial, autonomous region and municipal communications authorities under the direct jurisdiction of the State Council. The Measures removed the requirement for a RMB 1 million registered capital for an Internet domain name service institution.
The provisions concerning the licensing of domain name services under the Measures for the Administration of Internet Domain Names of China and the Measures of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on the Implementation of Administrative Licensing are integrated. Meanwhile, relevant requirements are further improved.
- Internet domain name registration service activities are regulated. The Measures stipulate that an administrative agency for domain name registration shall launch domain name registration services through domain name service institutions approved by the telecommunications administrative agencies, and that a domain name registration service institution shall provide services based on the domain name registration service projects that have been approved by the telecommunications administrative agencies. To safeguard the security of the Internet and information, the Measures require the domain name registration and domain name registration service institutions to set up corresponding emergency backup systems within China to regularly back up the domain name registration data.
- The domain name registration information registration and personal information protection system are improved. The Measures listed additional detailed requirements for domain name registration, and the formalities to amend such information shall be completed within 30 days of any changes. Meanwhile, equal importance is attached to the registration and protection of domain name registration information.
5. Interim and ex post supervision are enhanced. The Measures require institutions providing domain name services to submit to supervision and inspection by the telecommunications regulators and regularly report and submit information. Violations of the Measures shall be subject to an administrative penalty and recorded in the credit files. The Measures improve on the completeness of the legal liabilities incurred in illegal provision of domain name services and clearly set out the penalty measures for illegal services provided by domain name registration and domain name registration service institutions.