China will launch an administrative supervision on the providers of electronic signature certification, according to the draft law on electronic signatures in the deliberation by China's top legislature.

The 5-day tenth meeting of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) opened in Beijing Monday, and began to deliberate the draft law on electronic signatures for the second time. The draft insisted that the providers of on-line signature certification should be approved and supervised by governments while they should be orientated by market forces and be instructed by professional associations, said Wang Yiming, vice chairman of the NPC Law Committee.

The draft law was submitted for the first deliberation to the eighth meeting of the 10th NPC Standing Committee in April. It granted electronic signatures the same legal effect as handwritten signatures and seals in business transactions, and set up the market access system for on-line certification providers to ensure the security of e-commerce. A legal electronic signature should identify the signer and confirm file content. As Internet trade requires a reliable third party to identify the signers, the credibility of the on-line certifying organizations is significant for the transaction security, said Cao Kangtai, director of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, in his report to the top legislature.

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