Feeds

China wants mobile app approval, tracking powers

Smartphone makers may need to have apps pre-approved before release

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

China's latest plans to regulate its domestic mobile apps industry could force smartphone manufacturers to conduct costly and time-consuming extra testing, as well as help the government track users.

The new regulations have been filed with the World Trade Organisation to notify it on potential barriers to trade and match a draft law unveiled in June by the Chinese authorities, according to Wall Street Journal.

China’s unregulated app market is a hotbed of malicious activity, with premium rate diallers and data stealing malware prevalent in the nation's many unofficial app stores.

The proposed laws can therefore be interpreted as an attempt to clean up the industry, making their call for smartphone makers and platform providers to ensure that pre-installed apps and those on official app stores comply with Chinese law before going on sale.

Whether the proposal is workable is another question, as the current wording means apps would likely require smartphone makers to get the green light from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) before any software updates can be rolled out.

There’s also a requirement to build new phones according to China Communications Standards Association standards, which could mean phone makers in the future being forced to hand over data which could identify users and track their app use, the report said.

To be fair, back in April, MIIT deputy director Xiong Sihao was even forced to publicly criticise state-run operators China Telecom and China Mobile for “many problems” in their respective app stores.

However, as with all government-mandated regulations in the People’s Republic, alongside the promise of more secure systems there is also the threat that the authorities could use such power to censor any content deemed to be offensive or challenging its authority. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.