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China proposes special rules for “super large” internet platforms

China’s State Administration for Market Regulations (SAMR) has created a new category for Chinese internet companies: the “super large platform” and, the agency made clear in new guidelines such designations come with great responsibility.

According to the SAMR, China’s “super large platforms” should be held to higher standards than their smaller brethren. Among other things, the agency proposes that they be required to compete fairly, have higher standards for data security, be more transparent about their algorithms, and be subjected to comprehensive risk reviews.

What is SAMR's definition of a super large platform? Any company that has over 500 million annual users, 1 trillion RMB ($16 billion) market capitalization, and offers at least two services.

Falling under such a metric are likely to be Chinese behemoth apps like online shopping platform Taobao, instant messaging and mobile payment app WeChat, the online payment platform Alipay and Douyin, China’s answer to TikTok.

The SAMR said these were draft guidelines which were open to public consultation until Nov. 8.

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Dina Temple-Raston

Dina Temple-Raston

is the Host and Managing Editor of the Click Here podcast as well as a senior correspondent at Recorded Future News. She previously served on NPR’s Investigations team focusing on breaking news stories and national security, technology, and social justice and hosted and created the award-winning Audible Podcast “What Were You Thinking.”