The China Banking Regulatory Commission on Aug. 11 issued new credit card industry regulations providing cardholders with certain protections.

The new regulations prohibit banks from issuing credit cards to minors, defined under Chinese law as anyone under age 18.

Minors may qualify for a “supplemental” credit card, as long as an adult guarantees his or her ability to repay outstanding balances. And banks must obtain the consent of guarantors before attempting to recover credit card charges minors incur, the new rules state.

Under the new rules, banks are also barred from charging fees on cards that have not been activated.

Banks also must negotiate with cardholders who are unable to repay credit card balances, the commission said. The rules direct banks to consult with troubled borrowers and set up individual repayment contracts with them.

China’s banks have issued a total of 185 million credit cards to date.

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