European Businesses Call for More Clarity in China’s Data Regulations Go back »

2023-11-15 | All chapters

Beijing, 15th November 2023 – The European Chamber today released a survey on the impact of China’s data regulations on European business, that provides an overview of the areas where further steps are needed to optimise the country’s regulatory framework for cross-border data transfers.

China’s regulatory authorities and standard-setting bodies have long been in the process of improving the protection of personal information and important data. However, with many of the relevant laws, guidelines and measures lacking specificity, and with some requirements being overly stringent, European companies operating in China still face serious operational and compliance challenges.

The findings of the survey show that the overwhelming majority (96%) of European companies’ cross-border data transfers are internal transfers to the companies’ headquarters (HQs) or other regional offices, therefore the associated risk for data protection is relatively low. However, the impact of existing data regulations can be significant, with many companies - or at least some of their entities - obliged to undergo the regulatory security assessment (30%), bearing increased compliance costs (59%) and facing pressure to localise their data, information technology (IT) systems or operations altogether (41%).

The Chinese Government and relevant authorities seem to have already recognised the concerns put forward by businesses, as in the latter half of 2023 they issued guidelines and draft provisions aimed at addressing some of them. Companies are now waiting for these positive signals to be translated into action.

“It is positive that China’s relevant authorities are signalling an intent to optimise the country’s data regulations”, said Stefan Bernhart, vice president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. “European businesses hope to see more clarity on related terms, and that their legitimate business needs are taken into consideration for sectoral rules as well as for compliance timelines.”

Download the report here.






中国欧盟商会副主席Stefan Bernhart表示:“中国有关部门表示有意愿优化国家数据政策是一个积极信号。欧洲企业希望看到相关条款更加明确,在设立行业规则及合规政策时间表时将企业正当合理的业务需求考虑在内。”


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