Officials including Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) Minister Xu Lin on May 9 attended the launch of the China Federation of Internet Societies (CFIS, 中国网络社会组织联合会). With former CAC deputy Ren Xianliang at its head, CFIS boasts a prominent list of vice chairs, including top tech business leaders Jack Ma of Alibaba, Pony Ma of Tencent, Robin Li of Baidu, Liu Qiangdong of JD.com, and Zhou Hongyi of Qihoo 360. Other vice chairs include Vice Propaganda Minister Wang Xiaohui and leaders from state media. Xinhua reports that CFIS is supervised by CAC.
The new federation released a document proposing priorities for Internet associations (网络社会组织, officially translated as “Internet societies”) nationwide, which DigiChina has translated in full below. A 2017 document clarified that the term “Internet associations” refers to “social organizations, foundations, and social service organizations registered with civil affairs authorities and conducting work in the cybersecurity and informatization field.”
Proposal On Jointly Building Online and Offline Concentric Circles, and Assisting the Construction of a Cyber Superpower
To Internet associations at every level nationwide:
Internet associations are important forces in promoting the development of the cybersecurity and informatization undertaking and building China into a cyber superpower, and they constitute an important component of our cybersecurity and informatization contingent. At the National Cybersecurity and Informatization Work Conference, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the need to build concentric circles online and offline, and create a comprehensive network governance structure with participation by multiple agents, including the Party, the leadership, government management, enterprises bearing responsibility, society supervising, and netizens engaging in self-discipline. We put forward the following proposal to Internet associations nationwide in order to: implement Xi Jinping's thought on the cyber superpower strategy and the spirit of the National Cybersecurity and Informatization Work Conference; further give rein to the roles of Internet societies at all levels and of all categories; solidify consensus; concentrate forces; build concentric online and offline circles; and strive to realize the China Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
I. Jointly participate in the comprehensive governance of the online ecosystem. Vigorously strengthen the construction of an online advocacy matrix of Internet associations; forcefully carry forward the socialist core value system; disseminate positive energy online; and stimulate the flourishing and development of online culture. Regularly carry out social commentary, reporting and supervision, and safeguarding of the online ecosystem.
II. Jointly safeguard order in the Internet sector. Vigorously participate in the formulation of Internet sector standards and the resolution of sectoral disputes; complete self-discipline systems for the Internet sector; strengthen the building of online integrity; guide Internet enterprises in realistically carrying out their principal responsibility for information security management and their corporate social responsibility; and maintain a favorable environment for developing Internet industries.
III. Jointly develop public benefit/welfare online. Launch online public welfare activities with participation from all sides of society; forge online public welfare brands; vigorously participate in online poverty relief programs; and construct a rich online public welfare atmosphere.
IV. Jointly participate in safeguarding cybersecurity. Vigorously conduct cybersecurity advocacy and education; guide enterprises, scientific research bodies, and the expanse of netizens to participate in maintaining cybersecurity; and concentrate forces from the cybersecurity industry, to play a singular role in maintaining national cybersecurity.
V. Jointly participate in promoting informatization and the development of the digital economy. Vigorously serve the construction of a cyber superpower, a digital China, and a smart society; and join forces in areas such as promoting breakthroughs in core technologies, informatization-driven advances, talent training, etc.
VI. Jointly participate in foreign exchange and cooperation regarding the Internet. Forcefully carry forward General Secretary Xi Jinping's "Four Principles" and "Five Propositions" [see appendix here] concerning the global Internet governance system; vigorously participate in international people-to-people diplomacy on cyberspace issues; strengthen dialogue and cooperation with international Internet bodies; and promote the construction of a global Internet shared governance platform.
VII. Jointly find new and better ways to develop the cybersecurity and informatization undertaking. Strengthen theoretical research on frontier problems and practical issues in the area of cybersecurity and informatization; and promote the construction of a group of high-level, specialized cybersecurity and informatization research think tanks.