CX Daily: The Fight Over China’s Law to Protect Personal Data
Personal data /
Cover Story: The fight over China’s law to protect personal data
A string of high-profile data breaches in recent years has strengthened public calls for the government to pass a unified law safeguarding the personal information of citizens. In the first seven months this year, more than 8,000 apps and 478 companies were penalized by regulators for violating data collection rules.
In response, China’s top lawmakers are reviewing a draft law on personal data protection. It would be the first such legislation in the country to regulate collection of personal data including online shopping records and biometric features. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) released the draft Personal Information Protection Law Oct. 21 seeking public comment after completing the first of the three reviews of the legislation.
Caixin learned that this sparked debate among companies in the tech and advertising sectors, which argued that strict rules will hurt business growth. A person close to the legislative work said there is still time for the new law to be revised and lawmakers are trying to strike a balance among protection of personal privacy, business growth and the public interest.
Regulator singles out Tencent in diatribe on tech sector’s data privacy failings
FINANCE & ECONOMY
The State Administration of Foreign Exchange headquarters in Beijing on March 28.
China is about to expand pilot programs for outbound investment
China is moving closer to granting domestic investors wider access to foreign opportunities as part of efforts to encourage more domestic investment abroad as the yuan appreciates against the dollar.
China “in the near future” will expand the scale of two pilot programs that allow domestic investors to buy assets overseas — the Qualified Domestic Limited Partner (QDLP) and the Qualified Domestic Investment Enterprise (QDIE) programs — an official at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said Sunday.
The planned expansion of a pilot programs currently underway in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, announced in late October, aims to help domestic investors better allocate assets across the world.
Chinese banks to suspend opening of precious metals trading accounts amid global price volatility
At least seven Chinese banks, including all of the country’s state-owned “Big Four,” said they would suspend the opening of new accounts for precious metals trading, according to public notices posted on the banks’ websites.
The moves come after volatile metal prices in recent months caused some investors to chalk up huge losses on the international markets.
The suspensions were most likely linked to disputes between banks and customers due to the price fluctuations, said Zhong Jingji, a department director at Western Futures Co. Ltd., a futures trading firm.
Hong Kong leader has to sit on piles of cash because of U.S. sanctions
What can the world’s second-highest paid politician do if locked out of the banking system?
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has to keep “piles of cash” at home, she said in an interview with a local TV channel aired Friday.
The U.S. slapped sanctions on Lam along with several other Chinese officials in August, following Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong. In October, a 60-day countdown began for U.S. officials to identify banks that do business with those on the sanction list. That means financial institutions serving the officials on the list are at risk of being sanctioned themselves. Banks, including major Chinese mainland lenders, have taken action to comply with the U.S. law, Bloomberg reported.
Hong Kong closes schools for December as Covid-19 surges
The Hong Kong government announced Sunday it would close most of its educational institutions until late December after the city recorded the highest one-day rise in coronavirus infections.
The Education Bureau said all kindergartens as well as primary and secondary schools will shut until Dec. 28. The semi-autonomous region logged a record 115 new Covid-19 cases Sunday, 109 of which were locally transmitted, according to the Center for Health Protection (CHP).
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Quick hits /
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BUSINESS & TECH
The island province of Hainan in southern China has launched a campaign to reduce plastic waste.
In Depth: Beijing’s biodegradable plastic push hit by high costs, capacity crunch
China’s efforts to cut plastic pollution by pushing alternatives that can be broken down by living organisms face an uphill struggle ahead of a looming end-of-year deadline.
The world’s largest plastic user said in January that it would ban some single-use plastics in major cities by the end of 2020, part of a push to dramatically reduce the amount of waste plastic it puts into the natural environment by 2025.
Policymakers have touted biodegradable plastics, which decompose under the right conditions, as part of the solution. But China’s biodegradables industry appears unable to fill the gap, hindered by high costs, low production capacity and outdated regulations.
Japan to help India with 5G to counter China’s growing influence
Japan and India will tie up in the field of information and communications to counter China’s growing influence on telecommunications and digital infrastructure, Japanese government officials said.
The two governments will support the introduction of 5G wireless networks, submarine fiber-optic cables and other technologies to India from Japanese companies, the officials said. In addition, Japan will receive cooperation from India in nurturing professionals well versed in digital technology. The tie-up will involve projects totaling tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars).
Swedish truck-maker Scania drives into China with wholly owned venture
Swedish truck maker Scania AB launched a wholly owned venture to produce its trademark heavy trucks in China.
The company bought a local vehicle-maker in the country’s Eastern Jiangsu province Nov. 19, it disclosed at an event Saturday. Six days later, it changed the company’s name to include the Scania brand.
No figures were given for the size of the investment or when the company would start manufacturing and selling Scania-branded trucks. Scania is only the second foreign commercial vehicle-maker with a manufacturing operation in China.
Luckin boss fined 300,000 yuan for disclosure issues at his other firms
Lu Zhengyao, founder of scandal-plagued Luckin Coffee Inc., received two fines totaling 300,000 yuan ($45,596) from China Securities Regulatory Commission, according to statements issued last week.
The first fine was linked to a car rental company owned by Lu that disclosed incorrect asset figures in its financial report for the period of January through March last year. The second was handed down to another of Lu’s companies, which did not disclose its relationship with Luckin and other businesses Lu controls.
Quick hits /
China exempts Tesla Model Y from purchase tax
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Acquisitive Chinese miner Tianqi Lithium faces debt crunch
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