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Deadline for Smart Phone Applications and Mini Programs Filing

By Connie Chen and Claire Li

On 4 August 2023, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) set a timeline to enforce the filing of mobile applications (Smart Phone Applications) and Mini Programs (such as WeChat and Alipay Mini Programs), in the published Notice on Carrying out the Filing of Mobile Internet Applications (Notice). We wrote about it here: China Sets Filing Requirements for Smart Phone Applications


Filings of Smart Phone Applications and Mini Programs (together hereinafter referred to as APPs) should be completed before they go live. For those existing APPs that started operation before 4 August 2023, the deadline for filing completion is 31 March 2024.

Legal Consequences

  • Network access service providers, APP distribution platforms and smartphone manufacturers are not permitted to provide network access to, distribute and preset APPs that have not completed filing obligations. This means that APPs will be removed from APP stores and mini program platforms if the holder fails to file before the deadline.
  • Several provincial Communications Administrations have recently issued official notices that they plan to take enforcement actions against APP holders that fail to file, including but not limited to removal from App stores, blocking APPs, and restricting APP upgrades.

Filing obligations

All APPs for programs that engage in internet information services within the Mainland Chinese territory must comply with the filing obligations. Filings should be completed with the Provincial Communications Administration:

  • For APPs that are pre-installed on a smart phone or downloaded by a user,  filing should be completed through the relevant network access service provider. For example, the holder of an APP hosted on Tencent Cloud’s cloud service should conduct filing through the Tencent Cloud portal.
  • APPs based on an API that users can use without installation, such as Mini Programs, Quick APPs etc. must be filed through their distribution platform. For example, Mini Programs in WeChat should conduct filing through WeChat.

APPs hosted outside of Mainland China cannot be filed, which means these APPs will need to convert to local servers and domain names to continue running in Mainland China.


We strongly recommend that companies take action to complete the filing process by the end of March. Please contact R&P’s legal technology team for questions and support.

R&P's technology team frequently assists international companies with regulatory filings and compliance for SaaS and related businesses. They also work with partners to implement and localize distribution of apps and software in China. Feel free to contact Ms. Connie Chen (c[email protected]) or your familiar contact at R&P to discuss how they can help you.