On May 30, 2023, one day before the Measures on the Standard Contract for the Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information (“Measures”) were scheduled to take effect, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) released a first edition of its guidance on how organizations should complete the filing procedure for Standard Contracts (“CAC Guidance”). (See our prior blog posts on the Standard Contract here.)
On April 11, 2023, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) released draft Administrative Measures for Generative Artificial Intelligence Services (《生成式人工智能服务管理办法（征求意见稿）》) (“draft Measures”) (official Chinese version available here) for public consultation. The deadline for submitting comments is May 10, 2023.
The draft Measures would regulate generative Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) services that are “provided to the public in mainland China.” These requirements cover a wide range of issues that are frequently debated in relation to the governance of generative AI globally, such as data protection, non-discrimination, bias and the quality of training data. The draft Measures also highlight issues arising from the use of generative AI that are of particular concern to the Chinese government, such as content moderation, the completion of a security assessment for new technologies, and algorithmic transparency. The draft Measures thus reflect the Chinese government’s objective to craft its own governance model for new technologies such as generative AI.
Further, and notwithstanding the requirements introduced by the draft Measures (as described in greater detail below), the text states that the government encourages the (indigenous) development of (and international cooperation in relation to) generative AI technology, and encourages companies to adopt “secure and trustworthy software, tools, computing and data resources” to that end.
Notably, the draft Measures do not make a distinction between generative AI services offered to individual consumers or enterprise customers, although certain requirements appear to be more directed to consumer-facing services than enterprise services.
This blog post identifies a few highlights of the draft Measures.…
On March 7, 2023, during the annual National People’s Congress (“NPC”) sessions, China’s State Council revealed its plan to establish a National Data Bureau (NDB) as part of a broader reorganization of government agencies. The plan is being deliberated by the NPC and is expected to be finalized soon. …
On February 24, 2023, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) released the final version of the Measures on the Standard Contract for the Cross-border Transfer of Personal Information (“Measures”) (only available in Chinese here), including a template contract (“Standard Contract”) accompanying the Measures. The Measures will take effect on June 1, 2023, but are subject to a 6-month grace period to allow companies time to bring their activities into compliance.
The finalization of the Measures marks another important step forward in the establishment of China’s cross-border data transfer framework. With implementing rules for all three lawful transfer mechanisms now in place, China appears to be entering into a new phase where cross-border transfer activities will be more closely regulated and enforcement actions are more likely to arise for non-compliance. …
On August 31, 2022, one day before the Measures for Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfer (“Measures”) were scheduled to take effect, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) released a first edition of its guidance on how organizations should complete the security assessment application (“CAC Guidance”). Covington’s previous posts on the Measures can be found here.…
On July 21, 2022, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) – the country’s primary regulator for cybersecurity and privacy – imposed a fine of RMB 8.026 billion (around $1.2 billion USD) on China’s largest ride-hailing company for violating data protection laws, including the Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law. …
In addition to the two developments we reported on in our last blog post, on July 7, 2022, the long-waited, final version of the Measures for Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfer (《数据出境安全评估办法》, “Measures”) were released by the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”). With a very tight implementation schedule, the Measures will take effect on September 1, 2022. The full text of the Measures can be found here (currently available only in Mandarin Chinese).
In this blog, we highlight a few key takeaways from the final Measures.…
On July 2 and July 5, 2021, China’s Cybersecurity Review Office (“CRO”), an office established under the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) responsible for coordinating the implementation of China’s Cybersecurity Review framework (more details about this framework can be found in our previous blogpost, available here), announced that it had initiated cybersecurity reviews against four mobile applications operated by three Chinese companies: Didi Chuxing (“Didi”), Yunmanman, Huochebang and BOSS Zhipin (announcements are available here and here).
According to CRO’s announcements, these cybersecurity reviews were initiated based on requirements under the National Security Law (“NSL”), the Cybersecurity Law (“CSL”) and the Measures on Cybersecurity Review (“Measures”) and are aimed at “preventing national data security risks, maintaining national security and safeguarding public interests.” This is the first time that CRO publically announced the initiation of cybersecurity reviews against companies after the Measures took effect on June 1, 2020. Per the announcements, these apps are prohibited from registering new user accounts during the review period.
Separately, on July 4, CAC ordered the Didi app to be removed from Chinese app stores on the ground that the app seriously violated Chinese laws and regulations by “illegally collecting and using personal information” (the announcement is available here). It is unclear whether this “take down” order is related to CRO’s ongoing cybersecurity review of Didi.
This post explains the requirements and procedures of cybersecurity review under the Measures, analyzes the focus of the current review against these three companies, and provides more background on recent enforcement actions against apps illegally collecting and processing personal information. …
Continue Reading China Initiates Cybersecurity Review of Didi ChuXing and Three Other Chinese Mobile Applications
On April 27, 2020, the Cyberspace Administration of China (“CAC”) and other eleven government agencies jointly released the final version of the Measures on Cybersecurity Review (“Measures”) (an official Chinese version of the Measures is available here). These Measures will take effect on June 1, 2020.
Under Article 35 of China’s Cybersecurity Law (“CSL”), operators of Critical Information Infrastructure (“CII”) are required to undergo a security review if the procurement of “network products and services” implicates China’s national security. To implement this requirement, CAC previously released the Measures on the Security Review of Network Products and Services (Trial) (“Trial Measures”) on May 2, 2017, which established a process for CAC to conduct a cybersecurity review in a range of key sectors. On May 24, 2019, CAC released a draft version of the Measures (“Draft Measures”) for public comment (see our post on the Draft Measures here), aiming to update the review process established under the Trial Measures. The final version of the Measures replaces the Trial Measures and largely tracks the framework proposed in the Draft Measures.
Highlights of the final version of the Measures appear below.
Continue Reading China Issues New Measures on Cybersecurity Review of Network Products and Services
In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak (“2019-nCoV”), a wide range of Chinese regulators, including many levels of local governments (down to the neighborhood committee level) and local public security bureaus (“PSBs”), have been actively collecting personal information to monitor and potentially mitigate the spread of the outbreak. For example, Shenzhen PSB has issued a notice requiring residents or visitors to Shenzhen to scan a QR code to fill in personal information, such as their contact details, addresses, travel information, and health status. The Shanghai Municipal People’s Government also issued a similar notice requiring residents returning to Shanghai from an out-of-town trip or visitors to report a similar set of personal information.
In practice, numerous additional third party entities, including airports, train stations, employers, and landlords, could engage in collecting extensive personal information from travelers or visitors to a particular location or area, due to their own reporting obligations. For instance, visitors to office buildings may be obliged to report their health status to the landlord or building management. Also, employers are required to closely monitor the health status of employees if the employers apply to the local government to re-open their offices or factories.
With the widespread practice of information collection for public health purposes, data breaches and misuse of data become a major concern of the public. For example, it has been reported that travelers from Wuhan to other cities within China have been victims of data breaches after submitting their personal information to transportation entities and local regulators. A document entitled “List of Individuals Returning to Ningdu From Wuhan” was leaked to various WeChat groups in January 2020 and contained the personal information, including telephone numbers, national identification numbers, and home addresses, of approximately four to five hundred data subjects. Similar incidents happened across China and the sources of the leaks remain uncertain.
Continue Reading Cyberspace Administration of China Releases Notice on the Protection of Personal Information in the Fight Against Coronavirus