Internet-related enterprises won't be allowed to publish online
magazines (Ezines) until they get a business license issued by the
General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), according
to a China Business News report.
GAPP will bring online magazines into its supervisory scope by
drafting Regulations on Internet Publication Management in the near
future, Kou Xiaowei, deputy director of GAPP's Audiovisual and
Internet Publication Department, was quoted by the paper as saying
on April 24. The move aims to further standardize and effectively
supervise online publications.
Kou explained that, before seeking permission from the Ministry
of Information to carry on any business within the scope of an
Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Internet Content Provider (ICP),
enterprises must be first examined and approved for an appropriate
business license by GAPP.
An online magazine is defined as one delivered in an electronic
form and published online-only, or the online version of a normally
printed publication. Today, most online magazines form full
Since 2005, China has seen a rapid development of online
magazines with state-owned Ezine enterprises numbering up to 100
and individually-owned ones growing at a high rate, Kou said.
Currently, the state manages its online magazine publication
according to the Measures on the Administration of Internet
Information Services issued by GAPP in 2000 and the Interim
Provisions on the Administration of Internet Publishing issued in
2002. Previously, any website with relevant ICP-operating
permission could produce and issue online magazines without
periodical numbers as is required for print-published
A GAPP official said the existing measures and provisions were
low in legal effect and, therefore, limited in their law
enforcement ability. The proposed Regulations on Internet
Publication Management have been listed in the state's legislative
plan and will be issued in the name of the State Council.
"All formal and standard enterprises can pass examination and
approval while those Ezines published by individual websites will
probably be the most influenced," said Mei Wenhua, chairman of the
board of directors of the CDM Co, an online publisher. "The
examination and approval system is advantageous to the
standardization of online magazine trade management and the
improvement of publication quality."
According to the China Digital Magazine Research Report
jointly conducted by iResearch Consulting Group and GAPP, the
number of Ezine subscribers stood at 40 million in China in 2006,
equivalent to 30 percent of the total number of its "netizens." The
figure is expected to reach 40 percent by 2010.
Cao Jinbo, a senior analyst from iResearch, said most
subscribers of Ezines in China were male, aged between 19-39, with
high-level educational background, and reasonably high fixed
Currently, the profits of Chinese Ezines come from advertising
and information consultancy. Statistics from iResearch show that
the Ezine advertising market scale was worth 90 million yuan
(US$11.6 million) in 2006, accounting for nearly 2 percent of the
country's total Internet advertising market scale. The figure is
expected to reach 200 million yuan (US$25.9 million) in 2007 and
1.06 billion yuan (US$137.3 million) in 2010.
(China.org.cn by Li Jingrong, April 27, 2007)