Passengers may soon expect less boring trips when they are traveling by air in China. In the latest revision to its aviation regulations, China’s aviation authority is easing the rules on using electronics during flights, paving the way for wider in-flight connectivity, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting. The new rules will come into effect in October this year.

The new revision has lifted the decade-long complete ban on in-flight portable electronics, giving individual airlines the right to determine the management policies for devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. In addition, the regulator also issued corresponding assessment and approval process where airlines can apply for offering this service.

Apart from the mobile devices mentioned above, existing rules also ban passengers from using intercoms, remote-control toys and other devices with remote-control or radio transmitting equipment.

This move comes after relaxing aviation policies towards portable electronics around the world. US and EU aviation regulatory bodies have pioneered this initiative as early as 2013. As an initial step, the new regulation will boost the development in-flight Wifi services among Chinese airlines, local media reports, citing a spokesman from Shanghai-based Spring Airline.

The announcement of this news is one of those “dream come true” for millions of flyers in China,  the world’s second-largest air-travel market. Data from China’s National Statistics Bureau shows that over 490 million passengers traveled by air last year, while over 9.23 million flights have been taken by Chinese airlines only.

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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