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Circular on Further Rectification and Standardization of the Cultural Market Order

(August 15, 2001, the General Office of the State Council)

Governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, ministries and commissions, and organs directly under the State Council:

The cultural market is an important part of the socialist market economy system. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council are beefing up efforts to promote the restructuring of socialist spiritual civilization while promoting the restructuring of socialist material civilization. This has led to continuous progress of the national ideological and moral quality and scientific and cultural quality. However, as a result of certain factors, there still exist some chaos in the cultural market, intensively reflected in turbulent operation and management of business premises for Internet service and electronic games, places of public entertainment, and audio and video publications, publication and computer software markets, publishing sector and cultural relics market. There often appear offensive deeds against laws and regulations, and some contents that appear secular, silly and superstitious, full of violence, pornography, gamble and even reactionary elements, which are undermining social morality, affecting national unity and social stability, especially impairing physical and mental health of young people. This has led to strong positive reflection from the masses and must be rectified and standardized to a great extent.

In a bid to rectify and standardize the cultural market order, this circular now is made on related items as follows with the approval of the State Council:

1. Deepen understanding and strengthen the leadership

Fully understand the importance of rectifying and standardizing the cultural market under the guidance of the Three Represents theory advocated by Jiang Zemin, and put into practice various work of rectifying and standardizing the cultural market order. The cultural market has a direct bearing on the collaborative development of socialist material progress and ideological and ethical progress, and has a significant influence on the development of China’s advanced culture, modernization of national, scientific and popular socialist culture, continuous progress of national ideological and ethical quality and scientific and cultural quality, and it provides China’s economic development and social progress with spiritual power and talents support.

Rectifying and standardizing the cultural market order is a significant step to consolidate China’s modernization and achievements of opening-up and reform and further set up a favorable international image, as well as the internal requirement of advancing social ideological progress in an all-around way. Thereupon, top priority shall be given to the rectification and standardization of the cultural market order in 2001 according to the requirements ofDecision on Rectifying and Standardizing the Order of the Market Economy(No. 11 issued by the State Council in 2001) and putting forward special rectification and treatment on a nationwide base.

2. Lay stress on the focal points and treat both symptoms and foundation

When rectifying and standardizing the cultural market order, all regions and related departments shall give top priority to the following work: investigating and shutting down illegal business premises for Internet access service, strengthening supervision and administration on business premises for electronic games and casinos, launching the campaign to eliminate pornography and illegal publications, fighting against illegal acts and crimes such as copyright infringement and piracy, production and distribution of illegal publications; rectifying business premises for audio and video publications, publication and computer software market and printing sector; fighting against thefts, distribution and smuggling of cultural relics. Importance shall be given to those major and serious criminal cases that have caused strong reactions, led to serious results and notorious influences. In addition to strict and timely punishment according to law, exposition, and creation of powerful public opinions, efforts shall be put in finding the origin, timely summing up experiences and lessons, improving systems, strengthening management and treating both symptoms and foundation.

3. Clear work division and close coordination

The people’s governments of all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government shall take charge of the rectification and standardization of the local cultural market. All related departments shall be responsible for guidance and coordination of the cultural market rectification and standardization. Related sectors shall make clear work division, and close cooperation and curb the development momentum of illegal operations and businesses in cultural market through special rectification.

(1) Rectify business premises for Internet access service

The Ministry of Information Industry is responsible to guid and coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Culture and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce. Top priority shall be given to special rectification of such key problems as unlicensed operation, off-holiday permission of minor’s access, business of electronic games with unhealthy contents and illegal business and crimes in the disguise of business premises for Internet access service. Despite being approved by and registered with related departments before, the business premises for Internet access service shall be re-examined. If failing to meet the requirements, they shall not be granted re-registration. If proved to be eligible for registration after re-examination, they may get business license according to law and they shall strictly implementthe Administration Measures of Business Premises for Internet Access Service. During the period of rectification, examination and approval of new business premises for Internet access service is suspended. After the rectification, the total number shall be controlled and approved strictly.

(2) Rectify business premises for electronic games

The Ministry of Culture takes charge of guiding and coordinating together with the State Economic and Trade Commission, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Ministry of Information Industry and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. Top priority shall be given to resolutely cut the total number of business premises for electronic games to the half by the end of 2001. Each of those provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall cut the number of premises for electronic games to less than 1,000. Strictly crack down on illegal operation of business premises for electronic games, resolutely destroy illegal models and types of electronic game machines, and clamp down unlicensed or not fully licensed business premises for electronic games according to law.

(3) Rectify business places of public entertainment

The Ministry of Public Security is responsible to guide and coordinate with the Ministry of Supervision, the Ministry of Culture, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. Top priority shall be given to examining whether the actual facilities and fire protection of those business premises confirm to legal requirements according toProvisions on Management of Places of Public Entertainment, and whether related departments strictly implement the provision of prohibiting approving new places of public entertainment, and strictly clamping down on social immoral phenomena such as prostitution, gambling, drug taking and selling. All public security departments shall make more efforts to supervise and investigate those operations against the law and regulations. The industrial and commercial administrative departments shall clamp down on unlicensed or not fully-licensed casinos.

(4) Rectify business premises for video and audio products

The Ministry of Culture is responsible to guid and coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the State Press and Publication Administration. The focuses of the work are to rectify business order of video and audio products, fully clear up and close down all business premises for video and audio products by way of rent and bidding by the end of 2001, and strictly crack down on business activities of reactionary, erotic and pirated video and audio products according to law. The authorities shall strictly ban peddling of illegal video and audio products, greatly advance the intensive delivery and chain operation of video and audio products, and endeavor to improve the market share of authentic video and audio products; and put an end to approval and continue to cut down the number of video playing places both in urban and rural areas. State organs and public institutes shall take the lead to use authentic video and audio products.

(5) Rectify the market of publications and computer software

The State Press and Publication Administration is responsible to guide and coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Information Industry, the Ministry of Culture, the General Administration of Customs, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. The focuses of the work are to clamp down on and close unlicensed or not fully-licensed distribution network of publications (hereinafter including compact discs) and computer software, investigate and punish illegal publishing, operation and copyright infringement and piracy. The related authorities shall focus their efforts on fighting against piracy gangs producing and marketing illegal publications, destroying their producing and storage spots and underground distribution network, and strictly attacking maritime smuggling of publications and computer software. When constituting a crime, the concerned parties shall be transferred to the judicial organs to investigate and be held responsible for their criminal acts. The related authorities shall further strengthen supervision on publication market, add efforts to administration of street and community peddlers in urban areas, and attach importance on investigation of political illegal, erotic and pirated publications, pirated software and publications advocating pseudoscience.

(6) Rectify the printing sector

The State Press and Publication Administration is responsible to guide and coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. Focuses of the work are to fully inspect whether the printing enterprises possess operation conditions, whether the business scope of printing is legal, whether the certificates for printing procedures are all ready, whether the administrative system is sound, product quality complies with standards, and whether there are printing operations going against the law and regulations. Stress shall be laid upon those areas with frequent major and serious cases of illegal printing. The related authorities shall strictly clamp down on unlicensed or not fully-licensed printing houses, investigate printing spots producing and marketing fake trademarks and packaging materials, prevent fake and shoddy goods from entering market, and severely punish criminals; adjust the structure of printing sector, research and establish qualification conditions, volume structure, layout planning of printing enterprises, standardize approval and regulation procedures, reasonably control the total number, and clearly improve the status of low-level repetitive construction of the printing sector.

Besides, the related authorities shall streamline the market order of cultural relics. The Ministry of Culture, together with the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration of Cultural Relics, shall lay stress on fight against thefts, distribution and smuggling of cultural relics and chastise criminals according to law.

4. Strengthen legal enforcement and implement policies

Each region and related department shall take concrete measures to advance the comprehensive legal enforcement in cultural market to a great extent. They shall improve legal enforcement institutions, strengthen the legal enforcement personnel, and implement legal enforcement budget; carefully assume duties, strictly implement laws and regulations of cultural market supervision and administration, strengthen the connection of administrative enforcement and enforcement of law on criminals, and resolutely rectify the negative phenomena such as casual legal enforcement, loose investigation of illegal acts, and substitution of fine for penalty.

Each competent department shall firmly make implementation plan as required in this circular together with related departments, and carry out special rectification and regulation of cultural market order as soon as possible under the leadership of the local people’s governments at all levels. Related departments shall carry on a thorough examination on rectification of business premises for electronic games and Internet access service and places of public entertainment deployed in the preceding phase, intensively disclose and investigate a mass of major serious cases, careful summarize experiences and lessons, study measures for treatment of symptoms and foundation, and prevent rebounding of illegal business operations.

Local people’s governments at all levels shall bear in mind the Three Represents theory advocated by Jiang Zemin, carefully organize special action to rectify and standardize the cultural market, prevent the growth of corrupt culture, and develop and advance the socialist culture with Chinese characteristics.