China clarifies illegal VoIP stance

When China's Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced in December that it was going to crack down on illegal VoIP providers what followed was a lot of fear by VoIP industry watchers that it could block out alternative players such as Skype's China subsidiary TOM Group, which maintains it is operating a legally in China.

The MIII, however, yesterday decided to clear the air about its stance on illegal VoIP services. In a statement, the MII said that it does not want to close its doors to VoIP providers, "but only those operating illegally in the country."

When the MIII initially issued its mandate, it looked like the ministry was saying that it would only permit state-run telcos (China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile) to offer VoIP service.

Although Wen Ku, director of the ministry's technology department, did not specify how it would classify an illegal VoIP service in a China Daily newspaper story, he did say that the MIII wants to prevent criminals from using VoIP service to conduct "online crime and fraud."

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article

Related articles:
Skype's China partner remains unfazed by government's outside VoIP ban
Independent VoIP in China made Illegal
Skype goes down worldwide for first time since 2007

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