Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China
(Adopted at the Third Session of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress on May 28, 2020)
Book Four Personality Rights
Chapter I General Rules
Article 989 This Book regulates the civil-law relations arising from the enjoyment and protection of personality rights.
Article 990 Personality rights are the rights enjoyed by persons of the civil law, such as the right to life, the right to corporeal integrity, the right to health, the right to name, the right to trade name, the right to likeness, the right to reputation, the right to honor, the right to privacy, and the like.
In addition to the personality rights provided in the preceding paragraph, a natural person enjoys other personality rights and interests arising from personal liberty and human dignity.
Article 991 The personality rights of persons of the civil law are protected by law and free from infringement by any organization or individual.
Article 992 Personality rights may not be waived, transferred, or inherited.
Article 993 The name, entity name, likeness, or the like, of a person of the civil law may be used by others upon authorization, unless the authorization thereof is not allowed by law or based on the nature of the right.
Article 994 Where the name, likeness, reputation, honor, privacy, remains, or the like, of the deceased is harmed, the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased have the right to request the actor to bear civil liability in accordance with law. Where the deceased has no spouse or children, and the parents of the deceased have already died, other close relatives of the deceased have the right to request the actor to bear civil liability in accordance with law.
Article 995 A person whose personality rights are infringed upon has the right to request the actor to bear civil liability in accordance with the provisions of this Code and the other laws. Where the said person exercises his right to request the actor to stop the infringement, remove the nuisance, eliminate the danger, eliminate the adverse effects, rehabilitate his reputation, or extend apologies, the provisions on limitation periods shall not apply.
Article 996 Where the personality rights of a party is harmed by the other party’s breach of contract and the injured party is thus suffered severe emotional distress, if the injured party elects to request the other party to bear liability based on breach of contract, his right to claim for compensation for pains and suffering is not be affected.
Article 997 Where a person of the civil law has evidence to prove that an actor is committing or is about to commit an illegal act that infringes upon his personality rights, and that failure to timely stop the act will cause irreparable harm to his lawful rights and interests, the person has the right, in accordance with law, to request the people’s court to order the actor to stop the act.
Article 998 In determining the civil liability an actor is to bear for infringing upon other’s personality rights, other than the right to life, the right to corporeal integrity, or the right to health, consideration shall be given to the occupations of the actor and the injured person, the scope of impact of the act, the degree of fault, as well as the factors such as the purposes, methods, and consequences of the act.
Article 999 The name, entity name, likeness, personal information, and the like, of a person of the civil law may be reasonably used by those engaged in news reporting, supervision of public opinions, or the like, for public interests, except that civil liability shall be borne in accordance with law where the use unreasonably harms the personality rights of the person.
Article 1000 Where an actor shall bear civil liability such as elimination of adverse effects, rehabilitation of reputation, or extension of apologies for infringing upon other’s personality rights, the civil liability to be born shall be commensurate with the specific way the act is done and the scope of its impact.
Where an actor refuses to bear civil liability as provided in the preceding paragraph, the people’s court may take such measures as making an announcement, publishing the final judgment, or the like, through media, such as newspapers, periodicals, or online websites, and any expenses thus incurred shall be borne by the actor.
Article 1001 The relevant provisions of Book I and Book V of this Code and the other laws shall apply to the protection of a natural person’s relation-based rights such as a right arising from a marital and familial relationship; in the absence of such provisions, the relevant provisions of this Book on the protection of personality rights shall, based on the nature of the right, be applied mutatis mutandis.
Chapter II Rights to Life, Rights to Corporeal Integrity, and Rights to Health
Article 1002 A natural person enjoys the right to life. A natural persons’ life safety and dignity are protected by law and free from infringement by any organization or individual.
Article 1003 A natural person enjoys the right to corporeal integrity. A natural persons’ corporeal integrity and freedom of movement are protected by law and free from infringement by any organization or individual.
Article 1004 A natural person enjoys the right to health. A natural persons’ physical and mental health are protected by law and free from infringement by any organization or individual.
Article 1005 Where a natural person’s right to life, right to corporeal integrity, or right to health is infringed upon or otherwise in peril, the organization or individual who is legally obligated to aid shall promptly extend rescue.
Article 1006 A person with full capacity for performing civil juristic acts has the right to make a voluntary decision in accordance with law to donate his cells, tissues, organs, and remains. No organization or individual may force, deceive, or induce the person to donate such.
The consent of a person with full capacity for performing civil juristic acts to be a donor thereof in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall be made in writing or through a will.
Where a natural person, during his life, has not disagreed to be a donor thereof after he dies , his spouse, adult children, and parents may, upon his death, jointly decide to make the donation, and such a decision shall be made in writing.
Article 1007 Any form of purchase or sale of human cells, tissues, organs, or remains is prohibited.
Any purchase or sale in violation of the preceding paragraph is void.
Article 1008 Where a clinical trial is needed for developing new drugs and medical devices or developing new prevention and treatment methods, upon approval of the relevant competent authorities and the examination and approval of the ethics committee, the participants or the guardians thereof shall be informed of the details including the purposes, methods, and the possible risks of the trial, and their written consent must be obtained.
When conducting a clinical trial, no fees may be collected from the participants of the trial.
Article 1009 A medical and scientific research activity related to human genes, embryos, or the like, shall be done in accordance with the relevant provisions of laws, administrative regulations, and the regulations of the State, and shall not endanger human health, offend ethics and morals, or harm public interests.
Article 1010 A person who has been sexually harassed against his will by another person through oral words, written language, images, physical acts, or the like, has the right to request the actor to bear civil liability in accordance with law.
The State organs, enterprises, schools, and other organizations shall take reasonable precautions, accept and hear complaints, investigate and handle cases, and take other like measures to prevent and stop sexual harassment conducted by a person through taking advantage of his position and power or a superior-subordinate relationship, and the like.
Article 1011 A person, whose freedom of movement has been deprived of or restricted by illegal detention or the like measures, or whose body has been illegally searched, has the right to request the actor to bear civil liability in accordance with law.
Chapter III Rights to Name and Rights to Entity Name
Article 1012 A natural person enjoys the right to name, and is entitled to determine, use, change, or allow others to use his name in accordance with law, provided that public order and good morals are not offended.
Article 1013 A legal person or an unincorporated organization enjoys the right to entity name, and is entitled to decide, use, change, transfer, or allow others to use its entity name in accordance with the law.
Article 1014 No organization or individual may infringe upon other’s rights to name or rights to entity name by means such as interference, misappropriation, impersonation, or the like.
Article 1015 A natural person shall take the surname of either his father or mother, and may take a surname other than his father’s or mother’s in any of the following situations:
(1) taking the surname of a senior lineal relative by blood;
(2) taking the surname of a foster parent, other than the legal care provider, who provides care thereto; and
(3) taking a surname with other legitimate reasons that do not offend public order and good morals.
Natural persons of ethnic minorities may take surnames in compliance with their cultural traditions and local customs.
Article 1016 A natural person who decides to take or change his name, or a legal person or an unincorporated organization who decides to take, change, or transfer its entity name, shall file registration with the relevant authorities in accordance with law, unless otherwise provided by law.
Upon changing the name or entity name by a person of the civil law, the civil juristic acts performed before the name change is legally binding on the person.
Article 1017 With regard to a pseudonym, stage name, screen name, translated name, trade name, abbreviation of a name or entity name of a social popularity, where the use of which by others will suffice to cause public confusion, the relevant provisions on protection of the rights to name and the rights to entity name shall be applied mutatis mutandis.
Chapter IV Rights to Likeness
第四章 肖 像 权
Article 1018 A natural person enjoys the right to likeness, and is entitled to make, use, publicize, or authorize others to use his image in accordance with law.
The likeness is an external image of a specific natural person reflected in video recordings, sculptures, drawings, or on other media by which the person can be identified.
Article 1019 No organization or individual may infringe upon other’s rights to likeness by vilifying or defacing the image thereof, or through other ways such as falsifying other’s image by utilizing information technology. Unless otherwise provided by law, no one may make, use, or publicize the image of the right holder without the latter’s consent.
Without the consent of the person holding the right to likeness, a person holding a right in the works of the image of the former person shall not use or publicize the said image by ways such as publishing, duplicating, distributing, leasing, or exhibiting thereof.
Article 1020 The following acts, if done in a reasonable way, may be performed without the consent of the person holding the right to likeness:
(1) using publicly available images of the person holding the right to likeness to the extent necessary for personal study, art appreciation, classroom teaching, or scientific research;
(2) making, using, or publicizing the image of the person holding the right to likeness, which is inevitable for conducting news reporting;
(3) making, using, or publicizing the image of the person holding the right to likeness to the extent necessary for a State organ to perform its responsibilities in accordance with law;
(4) making, using, or publicizing the image of the person holding the right to likeness, which is inevitable for demonstrating a specific public environment;
(5) performing other acts of making, using, or publicizing the image of the person holding the right to likeness for protecting the public interests and the lawful rights and interests of the said person.
Article 1021 Where the parties have a dispute on a clause relating to the use of an image in a contract authorizing the use of the image, interpretations shall be made in favor of the person holding the right to likeness over his image.
Article 1022 Where the parties have not agreed on the term of authorized use of an image, or the agreement is unclear, either party may rescind the contract authorizing the use of the image at any time, provided that the other party shall be notified within a reasonable period of time.
Where the parties have expressly agreed on the term of authorized use of the image, the person holding the right to likeness over the image may rescind the contract authorizing such use if with just cause, provided that the other party shall be notified within a reasonable period of time. Where rescission of the contract causes loss to the other party, unless the loss is caused by a reason not attributable to the person holding the right to likeness over the image, compensation shall be paid.
Article 1023 For an authorized use of another person’s name or the like, the relevant provisions on the authorized use of other’s images shall be applied mutatis mutandis.
For the protection of a natural person’s voice, the relevant provisions on the protection of the right to likeness shall be applied mutatis mutandis.
Chapter V Rights to Reputation and Rights to Honor
Article 1024 A person of the civil law enjoys the right to reputation. No organization or individual may infringe upon other’s right to reputation by insultation, defamation, or the like.
Reputation is a social evaluation of the moral character, prestige, talent, and credit of a person of the civil law.
Article 1025 A person whose act, such as reporting news or supervising public opinions or the like for public interest purposes, adversely affects the other’s reputation shall not bear civil liability except where one of the following situations exists:
(1) he has fabricated or distorted the facts;
(2) he has failed to fulfill the obligation to reasonably verify the seriously misrepresentative information provided by others; or
(3) he has used insulting words and the like to degrade the other’s reputation.
Article 1026 To determine whether an actor has fulfilled the obligation to reasonably verify the information as provided in Subparagraph 2 of the preceding Article, the following factors shall be considered:
(1) the credibility of the source of the information;
(2) whether the information that is clearly controversial has been fully investigated;
(3) the timeliness of the information;
(4) the relevance of the information with public order and good morals;
(5) the likelihood that the victim’s reputation would be degraded; and
(6) his ability to verify and the cost for the verification of the information.
Article 1027 Where a literary or artistic work published by an actor depicts real people and real events or a specific person, with insulting or defamatory content and thus infringes upon another persons’s right to reputation, the person whose right is infringed upon has the right to request the actor to bear civil liability in accordance with law.
Where a literary or artistic work published by an actor does not depict a specific person, but only some patterns of the story are similar to the situation of such person, the actor shall not bear civil liability.
Article 1028 Where a person of the civil law has evidence to prove that the content reported by a media, such as a newspaper, a periodical, or an online website, is inaccurate and thus infringes upon his reputation, he has the right to request the media to take necessary measures including making correction of or deleting the content in a timely manner.
Article 1029 A person of the civil law may check his own credit report in accordance with law, and has the right to raise an objection and request correction, deletion, or other necessary measures to be taken where he discovers that the credit report is incorrect. The evaluators of his credit standing shall examine the report and take necessary measures in a timely manner if it is verified to be false.
Article 1030 The provisions of this Book on the protection of personal information and the relevant provisions of other laws and administrative regulations shall be applied to the relationship between persons of the civil law and the credit information processors such as a credit reporting agency.
Article 1031 A person of the civil law enjoys the right to honor. No organization or individual may unlawfully deprive others of their honorary titles or defame or degrade the honors thereof.
Where an awarded honorary title of a person of the civil law should have been recorded, the person may request that it be so recorded. Where such an awarded honorary title is incorrectly recorded, the person may request that it be corrected.
Chapter VI Rights to Privacy and Protection of Personal Information
Article 1032 A natural person enjoys the right to privacy. No organization or individual may infringe upon the other’s right to privacy by prying into, intruding upon, disclosing, or publicizing other’s private matters.
Privacy is the undisturbed private life of a natural person and his private space, private activities, and private information that he does not want to be known to others .
Article 1033 Unless otherwise provided by law or expressly consented to by the right holder, no organization or individual shall do the following acts:
(1) intruding upon another person’s private life through making phone calls, sending text messages, using instant messaging tools, sending emails and flyers, and the like means;
(2) entering into, taking photographs of, or peeping into other’s private spaces such as the residence or hotel room of another person;
(3) taking photographs of, peeping into, eavesdropping, or disclosing the private activities of another person;
(4) taking photographs of or peeping at the private parts of another person’s body;
(5) processing another person’s private information; and
(6) infringing upon another person’s privacy through other means.
Article 1034 A natural person’s personal information is protected by law.
Personal information is the information recorded electronically or in other ways that can be used, by itself or in combination with other information, to identify a natural person, including the name, date of birth, identification number, biometric information, residential address, telephone number, email address, health information, whereabouts, and the like, of the person.
The provisions on the right to privacy, or, in the absence of which, the provisions on the protection of personal information, shall be applied to the private personal information.
Article 1035 The processing of personal information shall be in compliance with the principles of lawfulness, justification, and within a necessary limit, and shall not be excessively processed; meanwhile, the following conditions shall be satisfied;
(1) consent has been obtained from the natural person or his guardian, unless otherwise provided by laws or administrative regulations;
(2) the rules for processing information are publicized;
(3) the purpose, method, and scope of the information processing are clearly indicated; and
(4) it is not in violation of laws or administrative regulations or against the agreement of both parties.
The processing of personal information includes the collection, storage, use, refinement, transmission, provision, disclosure, and the like, of the personal information.
Article 1036 When processing personal information, an actor shall not bear civil liability in any of the following situations:
(1) the actor reasonably performs the act to the extent that the natural person or his guardian consents to;
(2) the actor reasonably processes the information disclosed by the natural person himself or the other information that has already been legally disclosed, unless the said person explicitly refuses or the processing of the information infringes upon a significant interest of the person; and
(3) the actor reasonably performs the other acts to protect the public interest or the lawful rights and interests of the person.
Article 1037 A natural person may retrieve or make copies of his personal information from the information processers in accordance with law. Where the person discovers that the information is incorrect, he has the right to raise an objection and request corrections or other necessary measures to be taken in a timely manner.
Where a natural person discovers that an information processer has violated the provisions of laws or administrative regulations, or breached the agreement between both parties while processing his personal information, he has the right to request the information processor to delete it in a timely manner.
Article 1038 An information processor shall not disclose or tamper with the personal information he collects and stores, and shall not illegally provide to others the personal information of a natural person without the latter’s consent, unless the information, after being processed, cannot be used to identify any specific individual and cannot be restored to its original status.
An information processor shall take technical measures and other necessary measures to ensure the security of the personal information he collects and stores, and prevent the information from being leaked, tampered with, or lost. Where a person’s personal information has been or is likely to be leaked, tampered with, or lost, he shall take remedial measures in a timely manner, notify the natural persons concerned in accordance with the regulations, and report to the relevant competent authorities.
Article 1039 State organs and the chartered institutions assuming administrative functions as well as their staff shall keep confidential the privacy and the personal information of natural persons known to them during the performance of their responsibilities, and shall not disclose or illegally provide it to others.