New laws on website marketing, live online broadcasts

A welter of new laws and rules came into force today on a range of issues – e-commerce, car emissions, official misconduct, the national reserves, coronavirus masks, forestry and other things

New laws on website marketing, live online broadcasts 
A range of new laws came into force in China today (July 1) on matters such as a code of conduct covering website marketing, plus issues such as live online broadcasts, car emissions, facemasks, forests. File photo: AFP.

(ATF) While media attention was focused on the new national security law imposed in Hong Kong today, a large number of other national and local regulations came into force across China on July 1 on more mundane issues, some of them related to business.

The new laws cover issues such as e-commerce, forestry, misconduct by state officials, the national reserves, cars, coronavirus masks and other matters.

Code of conduct for live online broadcasts, website marketing

On June 24, the China Advertising Association released the Online Live Broadcasting Code of Conduct, which was the first specification on China’s booming online live broadcast marketing, online shopping and related matters. The Code also came into effect today.

For merchants, these rules clearly stipulate that marketing data provided by the anchor to merchants via webcast marketing platforms, or other means, should be true. No form of data falsification on website traffic, or fraudulent purchases or return of goods should be used to defraud merchants’ of commissions, or defraud customers and others.

The regulations also stipulate that operators of webcast marketing platforms should regulate internal transactions and prohibit anchors from inducing users to bypass legal trading procedures to conduct offline transactions in social groups.

New emission standards for light vehicles

On May 14, 2020, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly issued an announcement on "Adjusted Requirements for the Implementation of the National Sixth Emission Standard for Light Vehicles".

This said that from July 1, emission standards for lightweight vehicles will be implemented nationwide, and the production of light vehicles will be banned. The import of light vehicles would be prohibited if they do not meet these emission standards.

Standards for anti-virus masks

At the end of 2019, the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration and the China National Standardisation Administration issued a new protection standard (GB2626-2019) for a self-priming filter and anti-particle respirator, such as those needed in the coronavirus epidemic.

From today, this will be applied to KN95 masks. Higher requirements are made in terms of breathing resistance, air tightness, practical performance, cleaning and disinfection, to better reflect the performance of the mask in actual use. The standard stipulates the classification and marking, technical requirements, detection methods and identification of self-priming filter types. The KN100 mask will offer high protection levels specified for it, which is more efficient than the KN95 and KN90.

Further rail lines to open

From July 1, the national railway will begin to implement the third-quarter train operation map, plus at least five new lines will be opened for operation, and the network structure further improved.

The Hefei to Huzhou section of the Hehang high-speed railway would be opened, along with the Nantong to Shanghai railway, the Kazuo to Chifeng high-speed railway, the Anshun to Liupanshui high-speed railway, and the Qinghai section of the Geku railway.

From July 1 to August 31, the railway department will start a 62-day special summer operation, according to changes in expected passenger flow, the implementation of plans to better meet students' summer travel needs, such as family visits, and tourism. Officials also plan to open 48 additional temporary passenger trains each day, and three scheduled passenger train extensions.

Electric cars

On February 11, 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a notice on the management of electric cars, guidance systems and self-installed guidance systems. These will need to pass certification from now on.

Disciplinary law

The "Public Affairs Administrative Punishment Law" is one that came into effect on Wednesday. This is the first national law since the founding of People's Republic of China to comprehensively and systematically regulate the disciplinary system for state officials. It aims to unify different public punishment standards, to enhance the level of legalised and standardised public punishment.

The newly introduced Administrative Disciplinary Law clearly stipulates that public officials who have violated their duties will be given different sanctions according to the severity of the circumstances. For minor offences, an official can be reprimanded orally, sent for re-education, demoted, removed, and even expelled from the party. But more serious cases will be dealt with up the chain of command.

Reserves now under central military command

Recently, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued a Decision on Adjusting the Leadership System of Reserve Forces. This made it clear that from July 1, 2020, the reserve force would be fully integrated into the military leadership and command system, and the current dual leadership of the military and localities will be adjusted to a centralised leadership under the Central Committee and Central Military Commission.

Community Corrections law

Also today, the law on Community Corrections will be officially implemented. This is understood to be the first specialised law on community correction in China.

This law aims to promote and standardise community corrections, to guarantee the correct execution of criminal judgments, rulings, and temporary extrajudicial enforcement decisions. It seeks to improve the quality of educational corrections, and promote the smooth integration of community corrections into society in terms of prevention and reduction. This law is made in accordance with the constitution.

Revised forest law

The newly revised Forest Law will be officially implemented from July 1, 2020. This law will implement forest classification and management, and as divide forests into those for public welfare and commercial forests. Public welfare forests are strictly protected, and commercial forests are managed independently by forestry operators in accordance with the law, to protect the legality of various forest management entities. This will enhance rights and interests to achieve sustainable development of forestry.

The new Forest Law also adjusts the scope of issuance of forest logging permits. People or companies will no longer be allowed to apply for logging permits for bamboo forests outside of natural reserves.

The harvesting of farmland protection forests, forests planted to prevent wind and sandstorms, road protection forests, river bank protection embankment forests, and urban forest trees on non-forest lands are managed in accordance with provisions of the Highway Law, Flood Control Law, and Urban Greening Regulations.