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China’s tech crackdown challenges Western notions

China introduced new rules on November 1 that restrict the extent to which internet companies can collect and store user data. Known as the personal information protection law, it is said to be among the toughest data-protection regimes in the world.

As part of the rules, tech giants are having to set up external bodies to monitor their data collection, while foreign companies have to appoint representatives within China dedicated to compliance. Companies in breach are risking fines of up to 5% of turnover.

These rules are the latest example in the year-long crackdown on tech and finance in China. It started with Beijing’s decision in November 2020 to scrap finance giant Ant Group’s flotation, which was expected to have been the world’s largest IPO.



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