In China, Zhejiang Province, a region known for its dynamism in the technology sector, thanks in particular to the city of Hangzhou, where the headquarters of several large Chinese companies, including Alibaba, have passed the transportation regulations. the digital economy. This regional law comes into force in March 2021. It contains guidelines for developing data exchange, digital infrastructures or even accelerating the digitization of companies in the region.
The regulation also introduces a data processing and collection model that must be followed by Zhejiang city governments. It gives local authorities responsibility for the accuracy of the public data they collect. These must ensure safe, practical and efficient access. In addition, their role is to encourage businesses and civil society to share their own data by implementing new guidelines.
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Hangzhou City previously served as a laboratory to test measures before they were rolled out nationwide. In February 2020, it was the first Chinese city to introduce a QR code system to track the movements and health of its residents. A technology that was then extended to the whole country. This time, the experiment concerns the regulation of Zhejiang Province to promote the digital economy.
Data qualifies as “national basic strategic resource and important production element”
According to the South China Morning Post, the legislation has been welcomed by high-level officials in the Chinese technology world as an important step in “regulating the digital industry according to the law.” Such is the case of James Tian Ning, president of Panshi Group, a Hangzhou-based company that specializes in the cloud. He congratulates that this law will “encourage governments at all levels to ensure and promote the development of the local digital economy”. In the meantime, the businessman expects other Chinese regions to implement similar regulations. Jack Ma, currently performing with absent subscribers, has apparently not responded to this new law. However, the companies that collect a lot of data and are based in Hangzhou are particularly affected.
The South China Morning Post claims that “the law is particularly focused on data as authorities around the world seek a balance between protecting privacy and sharing data.” In the land of social credit, this balance is more of an imbalance, and the balance is mostly towards data sharing. The new law is also part of national policies that focus on data and digital infrastructure. A policy that has resulted in various laws, including data security and protection – against whom? – Personal information.
More recently, on January 4, 2020, four central government agencies, including the Cyberspace Administration, published new guidelines for building an “integrated national data center and innovation system”. All of this while qualifying the data as a “fundamental national strategic resource and key production element”. On the same day, the Zhejiang Region Communist Party leadership responded to Beijing’s appeal, calling for the break of monopolies and controlling the expansion of tech companies, promising a “new level of development”. The tone that has already been set is confirmed again.