China's Ministry of Culture has released a new measure to strengthen the management of online music, regulate the import of online music and promote the healthy development of China's online culture industry.

The new measure, which is called "Several Opinions on Network Music Development and Management of the Ministry of Culture", stipulates that all music products must be approved for import or registration by MC before being promoted in mainland China. All the imported music products must be inspected by MC before being put into operation in China, all the music operators must be approved operators and they must undergo relevant formalities before running imported music online.

Regarding market access, MC says that online music operators must have an online cultural services operation license and no foreign-invested online cultural companies are allowed to operate music product services in China.

In addition, MC says it will strengthen the inspection and review of music products created or imitated by ordinary netizens for non-profit purposes. This may deal a blow to blogs and other online communities that aggregate music online.

MC requires that all imported music operators and online music operators whose music has not been formally approved make up for the relevant procedures before March 1, 2007, otherwise they will face an undisclosed punishment.

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