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China to close public comment period on revised data management rules

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China to close public comment period on revised data management rules

Photo: Edgar Su/Reuters

The public comment period on draft revisions to China’s data security law closes today.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology first published the new rules in September. They then updated them in early February and left them open for public comment and revision. The updated regulations removed a clause that required companies to keep all “core data”—data that constitutes a serious threat to Chinese interests—within China. Furthermore, the rules require local regulators to classify data into specific categories for supervision.

Originally, the provisions were created to bolster China’s data security law, which tightened regulations on data collection by companies. The rules have been met with criticism from industry giants, as data collection is integral to their success.

Efforts to strengthen data collection regulation are part of a larger Chinese effort to expand regulation and surveillance in the name of national security. Despite criticism during the open comment period, expect China to move forward with a strong and far-reaching data security legislation package anyway. For companies operating in China tightened regulations will make day-to-day operations far more cumbersome and impact profits. This could cause an exodus of smaller foreign companies less equipped to meet the new standards.

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