Chinese police are planning to further strengthen internet security by punishing network services providers that steal or sell users' information, even if a crime has not been committed.
"Internet services providers could be fined up to 1 million yuan (9,000) for stealing, illegally selling or providing users' personal information, even if no crime occurred or illegal income gained," read a draft released by the Ministry of Public Security on internet security monitoring, the Beijing Daily reported on Saturday.
The ministry released the regulation for public opinion Wednesday.
The move came after Tencent's WeChat earlier this year was pressured into clarifying that it does not store users' chat histories and does not use personal data for big data analysis, after allegations spread online that the platform might be monitoring chats.
The draft regulation also suggests public security institutes could conduct special inspections during "significant internet security tasks."
Random inspections should be conducted on certain internet services providers and institutes that use the internet in order to mitigate internet security risks, the Beijing Daily reported.
The inspections could include on-site visits, the draft said.
Network operators who reject or impede pubic security inspections would be punished according to law, the draft indicated.
In order to standardize the way Internet companies collect, store, use and transfer private information, several government departments have examined the privacy policies of 10 popular domestic Internet products and services, according to the Xinhua News Agency.