The Ministry of Civil Affairs explains the Charity Law’s implementation

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China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) held a press conference on the 7th of September, explaining how the Charity Law has been implemented since it passed into effect at the beginning of the month.

Information on public offerings can only be published on designated channels

It was clarified that the online platforms appointed by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) are the only channels through which information on public offerings can be released. Other unlicensed platforms publishing this kind information will be sanctioned.

In order to put this regulation into practice the Social Organisations Administration, a bureau subordinated to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, conducted research on access standards for online platforms and then released an official document on July 20th, entitled the ‘Notification on Selecting Online Platforms for Publishing Information on Public Offerings’.

By the 5th of August 47 potential platforms had submitted their application materials to the MCA. By the time the Charity Law was enacted in September, however, only 13 of them had been selected after a professional review, and their names announced to the public. Any organisation publishing information about public offerings on unlicensed platforms will be sanctioned (the extent of the sanctions is not specified).

The platforms designated will be expected to submit to strict governmental supervision, self-regulation and social supervision. Organisations are also not allowed to post this kind of information on their own channels, such as websites or wechat, prior to publication on the licensed platforms.

No preferential policies for charitable trusts yet determined

The Charity Law contains a chapter about charitable trusts. The Banking Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have jointly issued a document entitled the ‘Notice on Registering Charitable Trusts’ aimed at the regulation of such trusts.

An official stressed that charitable trusts can be seen as civil parties carrying out acts connected with civil law, so it is inappropriate for state power to intervene.

The Charity Law requires the registration of charitable trusts, stating that otherwise they will not enjoy preferential policies. When asked what kind of preferential terms the registered trusts will receive, the official explained that no preferential policies have been determined as of yet, but the relevant research is in progress.

Legislation on voluntary services accelerating

Voluntary work is one of the main foundations of charitable services. The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) announced that it has been carrying out specific work on four fronts according to the clauses in the Charity Law related to volunteering: accelerating the legislation on voluntary services, drawing up the ‘Regulations on Volunteer Recruiting’, promoting the enacting of the ‘Opinions of Supporting and Developing Voluntary Services Organisations’; and building up a national online network for voluntary services.