China gives the Telecommunications Catalogue a thirteen year face lift - but does it really capture all the new technologies?
The 2015 Catalogue retains the general classifications set forth in the People's Republic of China Telecommunications Regulations ("Telecommunications Regulations"). Regulated services requiring a telecoms business operating permit (here a "Permit", also sometimes called a "license") are divided into basic telecommunications services ("BTS") and value-added telecommunications services ("VATS"). Within these categories are sub-classifications into Type I and Type II services. The 2015 Catalogue maintains this framework, but does revise the description of certain services and moves some services from one sub-category to another. In short, there has been incremental change, rather than the radical overhaul the thirteen-year time lapse would appear to have merited.
We list and discuss some key revisions and new developments in the 2015 Catalogue, especially as they relate, among other things, to hot topics such as:
- cloud computing;
- content distribution networks (a point of particular relevance for offshore content providers who hire a Chinese onshore company to cache data in China for ease of delivery onshore);
- resale of cellular mobile services;
- continuing uncertainty as to when an Internet Content Provider ("ICP") Permit is necessary; and
- call centre services.
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