Oct 01, 2021 06:13 AM

PBOC Releases Final Rules on Credit Reporting Industry

What’s new: China’s central bank Thursday released final rules on the management of the credit reporting businesses to keep up with the rapid development of a digital economy that increasingly relies on personal credit data.

New technologies such as the Internet and big data have been widely applied in the field of credit assessment, and many effective "alternative data" sets have been collected, analyzed, and applied to judge the credit status of enterprises and individuals, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a Q&A on the new rules.

The new rules make clear the boundaries of credit reporting business and strengthens the protection of information subjects’ rights and interests.

The collection of credit information should not be excessive and should follow the principle of "minimum and necessary." Collection of personal credit information shall be subject to the consent of the information subject, and the subject shall be clearly informed of the purpose of collection of credit information, the rules state.

The new rules provide for a transition period until the end of June 2023 for companies to rectify their practices. The central bank said it will provide guidance to companies to promote the smooth transition step by step.

The background: The collection, storage, and sale of information on individuals and companies has turned into a multi-billion-dollar industry and has become of increasing concern to the government and consumers because of the potential for abuse.

Since the last set of regulations on credit investigation industry came out in 2013, the credit landscape has changed dramatically. On the demand side, largely as a result of the explosion in online lending, consumer credit has soared — the outstanding value of consumer credit jumped around 310% to 13.2 trillion yuan ($2 trillion) from 2013 to 2019 and is expected to double to 25 trillion yuan by 2024, according to a report by a research team backed by New York-listed Chinese fintech company FinVolution Group.

The new rules are part of a broader effort by the government to step up regulation of data collection and use, and better protect the rights of consumers and organizations whose information is being gathered.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (

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