Cross-border data transfer regulation in China

In this English review article published in the journal Rivista Italiana di Informatica e Diritto, University of Macerata’s Yuan Li “aims to systematically and chronologically describe Chinese regulations for cross-border data exchange.” Given the growth of cloud-based systems and data management of clients around the world, doing business with Chinese businesses and individuals requires a better understanding of transfer regulations in the country. Li first explains the concepts behind global data transfer and some of the agreements and soft laws that have sprung up as a result of increasing cross-border transfers, as well as the problems that arise. Li then goes into a detailed review of China’s data protection laws, as well as how they are enforced and who enforces them. Then the author examines the data export regulations that have evolved in China. The conclusion is that there are still limitations to China’s approaches to building a regulatory framework for data protection and transfer; however, “there are various positive dynamic developments in the framing of China’s cross-border data regulation.” Yet further agreements with other nations will still depend on future developments in “multilateral trade and investment negotiations.”

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