In August, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) listed 267 apps in three batches, including WeChat and several major online streaming apps, that were found to have violated user rights, and have not resolved these problems within the period of time they were given to do so. It also announced the removal of 67 apps from app stores because they have not resolved problems related to users’ rights.
According to the August announcements, there are 14 apps in the 7th list, 43 apps in the 8th list, and 210 apps in the 9th list. The listed apps include the social media app WeChat, several major online streaming apps, such as Sohu, Tencent and iQiyi, as well as a major travel app Ctrip. The reasons for the listing vary from violation of permissions to use address books and geographic location, “using pop-up windows that harass users,” and illegally collecting personal information.
These apps are usually given a week to fix the problems. If they do not correct the violations by the deadline, they will be removed from the app stores.
By August 25, MIIT identified 67 apps from the 7th list and the 6th list issued in July that had not brought their practice into full compliance with the law in time. As a result, MIIT requested them to be removed from app stores.
The 67 apps include educational apps (Bubushizi and Mofangsiwei), car-hailing apps (Wanshunjiaoche), and radio apps (Qingting FM). Apps may be restored if they correct the existing problems.
MIIT and provincial governments conduct regular reviews of apps as part of the implementation of the Cybersecurity Law, Regulations on Telecommunications, and Provisions on Protecting the Personal Information of Telecommunications and Internet Users. Companies that are found in violation of the laws will be given some time to resolve the problems. If they do not fix the problems by the deadline, they will be listed by MIIT and the lists will be published on the MIIT website. The MIIT announcement will give the apps a second chance to resolve the issues. After the period for resolution has expired, the apps still found in violation of the laws will be ordered by MIIT to be removed from app stores.