China's State Council reviews draft Telecom Law

Robert Clark
24 May 2010

China’s long-awaited Telecom Law once more is back on the legislative agenda.

The Financial and Economic Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) – China’s legislature – has submitted the latest draft bill to the State Council, according to the Legal Daily.

The law was first proposed in 1980 – the early days of China’s reform” period – but has since been delayed because of objections from officials, legislators and telecom carriers over the years.

The current draft has been sent to the State Council – China’s executive – and is now being revised.

However, it is not the first time it has been submitted to State Council. It was previously put in the hands of the executive in late 2005 and was expected to pass the NPC in 2006, but lapsed.

This time it is the government’s drive to carry out “three network integration” – between telecom, internet and cable networks – that has helped push the bill up the agenda once more, the Legal Daily said.

The bill is now on the NPC Standing Committee legislative planning timetable and in the State Council’s 2010 legislative work plan.

It has a dedicated chapter for the many issues raised by legislators, the Legal Daily said.

A review of an earlier draft in March 2009 by the US Information Technology Office (USITO) and industry bodies criticized the list of pre-approved VAS, the lack of appeal processes and the codification of the current 49% limit on foreign investment in service providers.

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