Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Last month, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released for comment a set of draft regulations entitled Interim Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Order in the Internet Information Services Market (互联网信息服务市场秩序监督管理暂行办法) [Chinese | English (USITO translation)]. Here are the joint comments submitted by the ABA Sections on Antitrust Law and International Law.
The comments consist of about 12 pages of single-spaced English text preceded by a Chinese-language abstract of 3 double-spaced pages. Whether comments like this are ever read seriously and influence policymaking is, of course, open to question, but one has to try - and kudos to the lawyers who took the time to put these careful comments together. But it seems a shame that nobody took the final step of translating the comments into Chinese beyond the short abstract. For comments to be effectively circulated and discussed in Chinese policymaking circles, they have to be in Chinese. I don't think it's realistic to expect Chinese policymakers to be so concerned about the ABA's views that they will do the work of translation that the ABA couldn't be bothered to do itself. I'm pretty sure that when Chinese interest groups put their views to US policymakers, they do so in English. (I would make an exception for very high-level communications where verbal formulations matter, and refusing to use the recipient's language gives one deniability as to any particular meaning the recipient takes out of it.)