China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released a list of 38 apps that infringed users’ rights, as reported by Sohu on October 13. After the MIIT recently commissioned third-party testing organizations to conduct sampling tests on the infringement of users’ rights by mobile applications, the listed apps were found pushing pop-up information that violates regulations or asking for permission from users excessively and frequently. The MIIT has ordered the problematic apps to rectify their practice by October 20 or face punishment. Previously, on August 29, the MIIT also called out 47 apps for violating users’ rights after a new round of security and data collection investigation.
Chinese regulators are enhancing scrutiny on mobile apps, which have long been accused of abusing notifications and pop-ups. Industry group Universal Push Association reported in 2020 that Chinese Android phone users receive 100 notifications every day on average. In response, on March 2, 2022, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) drew up draft rules on notifications and pop-ups by mobile apps and officially implemented the rules on September 30. Under the new rules, service providers are required not to abuse notifications and pop-ups, and advertising via pop-up windows must include a visible close button and explicitly inform users of the paid nature of the content.