The new “Administrative Regulations on Algorithm Recommendation of Internet Business Services” comes into force on 1 March 2022, and will introduce important rules on the use of algorithms when operating digital platforms/websites/apps – including targeted marketing – in China. The new regulations are designed to ensure greater transparency for online users, and also avoid use of algorithms that promote addictive use of sites/apps or deployment of “recommendations” by way of algorithms to promote sales.
There is also a basic principle that the algorithm must “promote good values” and comply with China’s cyber and national security regulations.
Operators of online services must implement a complaint channel and governance programme, and must monitor compliance with the new regulations. Use of certain specified algorithms (e.g. those that impact public opinion) must be registered with the relevant authority (the CAC) and a security assessment will need to be undertaken.