Beijing offers 'consultations' with foreign Internet investors

18 Aug 2006

The Ministry of Information Industry of China will offer consultations on its business policies for foreign Internet investors, a government official said.
China is committed to "open" its telecommunications industry as a member of the World Trade Organization.
However, the government earlier issued stricter guidelines for foreign Internet investors, saying that some foreign firms continue to violate government policies.
The official, who asked not to be named, said the government is now inviting foreign firms to apply for Internet licenses following the issuance of the said regulations and is willing to hold consultations.
The ministry tightened regulations for foreign investors operating Internet services in China in a circular issued last week which may affect most of the big foreign-invested Web sites in China. Web sites they run using rented licenses will be closed.
Domestic telecom companies will not be allowed to lease or sell licenses to foreign investors, the official said.
The official said "several" foreign groups have now applied for the licenses.

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