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| Gov't Official Disputes Court Ruling on IP Telephony
February 2, 1999 (BEIJING) -- In the government's first response to a
recent Fuzhou court ruling that Internet Protocol (IP) phone services
come under the category of computer information services and are open
to the public, a central government official said that only Internet
information services, excluding IP phone and fax, are open to public.
|A permit-issuing system will be introduced only when conditions are ripe,
according to Xu Mutu, director of the Ministry of Information Industry's
market administration unit (in the Telecom Bureau).
"We are building and improving facilities for the new sector, and are
studying how to manage them," Xu said.
Xu's remarks came after the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court in eastern
China's Fujian Province decided in favor of Chen Yan and Chen Zhui,
who were charged with "illegally setting up an international telephone
service on the Internet."
Xu argued that the IP phone service in China should be administered by
the unified state telecommunications department. Moreover, he said that
no one would be allowed to operate an IP phone business without prior
examination of their qualifications and the granting of a business permit
by the authorities.
However, Zhang Dongsheng, an official with the State Development Planning
Commission, noted that the country should encourage the growth of IP
phone services to improve the range of choices available to international
(Xinhua News Agency)
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