back to article China cyber-security law will keep citizens' data within the Great Firewall

China's new cyber-security laws, which come into effect on Thursday, may make it harder for foreign businesses to trade in the country. Under the regulations, data on Chinese citizens – including personal information, salary details and more – can only be kept within China. The law would also prevent the transmission of any …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes please

    Pan-European version of this please. The internet needs to be de-californiaized.

  2. Gordon Pryra

    Pity this doesent apply to the English

    All out information is shipped out from Gov.Uk to the Yanks weekly

    Anything missed gets sold to the American data gathers like Google by the various UK organisations (NHS etc)

    Lucky bloody Chinese!!!

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Pity this doesent apply to the English

      I'd be happy if they would pull something like this here the States to shut down the data slurpage. Every company just about owns everyone who lives here.

      1. Vector
        Big Brother

        Re: Pity this doesent apply to the English

        Unfortunately, this type of law wouldn't help us Yanks. It just says data has to stay within the country's borders and we're already within those border's with the biggest data farmers in the world!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weird translation

    I'm not sure there has been that much diligence applied to the translation, unless chapters 6 and 7 of section 2 are so exceptional they had to be enumerated using Roman numerals.

    That said, worth a read. There are a few conflicts that I can see looming with this approach, but I also have a feeling I know what this is aimed at. Silicon Valley will be vewwy, vewwy pissed about what this disallows - it means social media and population data mining of the Chinese may only be performed from inside China, and Google failed so badly in penetrating that market that it had to come up with an espionage excuse not to look bad for its investors when it shut the shop there.

    Add to this the total lack of interest in Silicon Valley by Trump and the fact that his family already has the trademarks it was looking for and I suspect that, for instance, Zuck's wailing about this being unfair will get about as much attention as US laws against nepotism and abusing the office of the President for self enrichment, i.e. none whatsoever.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    data on Chinese citizens – including personal information [etc] can only be kept within China.

    Does this also apply to the data of Chinese citizens living outside China? :-)

    1. Peter Clarke 1

      Re: data on Chinese citizens – including personal information [etc] can only be kept within China.

      Too late- the USA has the monopoly on applying its laws to the rest of the World

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does this also apply to the data of Chinese citizens living outside China? :-)

      Heh, this would be interesting - if any passing Chinese national told you their name, phone number, address or whatever, or showed you their face, you would then immediately have to move to China or be in violation of Chinese law. Although I suppose you could just have your brain shipped there instead.

      Further, any people visiting China on holiday are bound to accumulate some memory of personal information relating to the local population, and will therefore will only be able to leave by illegally smuggling themselves over a border.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It seems the Chinese government is showing

    the (Western) world what it means to have a pair of balls.

  6. lglethal Silver badge

    Am I understanding this correctly?

    Say you're a European Company with a Chinese subsidiary. If I understand this law correctly, you cant send any HR data from the Chinese subsidiary back to your Headquarters? That seems pretty messed up...

    Also if I understood it correctly, you cant send any of the tech stuff invented at your subsidiary out to any of your other Offices as well? So if Airbus China (for example) comes up with some great way to save assembly costs, they cant share that with the other assembly plants in Europe? (Since the law says that it would "prevent the transmission of any economic, scientific or technological data overseas").

    Did I miss something? Because otherwise that seems like a great way to basically get every foreign firm to move out of China quick smart!

    1. FuzzyWuzzys

      Re: Am I understanding this correctly?

      I suspect what it means is that you can but you must declare up front to the Chinese Gov exactly what you're transferring out of the country before you do it, once they ratify you can or cannot then you stick to that. Woe betide you if you change it after you've declared it, or worse you do not declare it as China-Gov will ensure you "never work in this town again"!

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "I suspect..must the Chinese Gov exactly what you're transferring out of the country "

        Say hello to the US International Trafficking In Arms "Technical Interchange" meeting protocol.

        Where US firms ask foreign suppliers to do space related stuff for them without telling them anything useful about what they want.*

        And BTW the State Dept will send along a Referee to see you follow the agreement.

        *Yes that sounds insane. Yes this law is insane.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Mark 85

        @Yet Another Anonymous coward -- Re: Am I understanding this correctly?

        Say your a US company with a UK subsiduary you can't send any medical data about your emplyees to the US to sell to insurance companies - that sounds pretty messed up.

        No, the messed up part is that they WOULD sell the data if they could. We're all for sale, but most folks just don't know it or care.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Iglethal - Re: Am I understanding this correctly?

      How much are you ready to bet that:

      1. foreign firms will not just move out of China and leave all that huge market

      2. China doesn't care

  7. Alumoi Silver badge

    ... they need users' permission before

    So a simple 'by using ... you agree that all your data will be ...' modification in the T&C nobody bothers reading will suffice.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'll believe that the ChiComs are willing to irrevocably blacklist companies when I see it. This smells like China is gearing up for a round of shaking down foreign competitors for outrageous sums under the guise of privacy violation fines.

    I wonder where they got that idea from?

  9. JLV

    Nice painting. Very 50s USSR. This on purpose?

    Wonder how much is benign concern fot it's citzens welfare? Vs wanting to be the sole snooper?

    Vs a convenient way to hobble competitors? Is this like in 90s when you could only sell cars there as joint ventures? And your joint venture partner could be fully expected to slurp your IP?

    On the one hand this might stop all the data going to the US and/or being the subject of extra territorial US law enforcement fishing expeditions. Something that clearly needs doing.

    On the other it could be protectionism. And if it's applied aggressively and naively and copied/retaliated on elsewhere it could balkanize Web apps for others. Imagine a data center per country you serve content in?

    Interesting times.

    FB? Eh, fuck you, Zuck :-)

    1. Orv Silver badge

      That's a Tu-144 in the background, so that'd make it 1960s or 1970s USSR. ;)

      1. JLV

        Can't be, or else the artist hasn't done their homework. China and Russia hated each other by the time the TU-144 flew in 68. And after the Concordski's crash @ Le Bourget '73 it would have been the wrong plane to showcase.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I believe that it's safe to say "all of the above." By intent.

  10. hellwig

    Just Cut Them Off

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Just cut all network links into and out of China and call it a day. Seriously, China doesn't want to play nice with the rest of the world, let them play with themselves *snicker*.

    This not only keeps the Chinese government from having to worry about the mean old western influence, but it means the rest of the world doesn't have to worry about state-sponsored Chinese hackers.

    "But China is such a big market, business have to have a foothold". Not really. Remember China 50 years ago? Poor peasants and farmers. It was only their embrace of western cultures that allowed them to prosper. If they want to go back, I think they'll soon find it's better to play nice than not at all.

    We give China all our manufacturing jobs, funneling billions of dollars into their economy daily, sending our own jobs and lively hoods along the way, then they get upset about OUR impact on their sensitive culture?

    1. JLV

      Re: Just Cut Them Off

      Hmmmm. I understand the sentiment, but it's not very practical, is it?

      Gaze 20-30 years into the crystal ball and China will be where the US is currently at, in terms of global dominance. At some point, their military might will be hegemonic. We barely eked through getting through the Cold War with the Soviets without nuking each other. Do you really, really, want to engage in the kind of economic conflict you suggest without a very very good reason? And set the stage for Cold War 2?

      Any high level political engagement with China needs to be bear in mind our overwhelming mutual interest in managing the transfer of superpower status with as little friction as possible.

      China's not the nicest country to its citizens and, no, I don't think it always plays fair. But it's not (and hasn't been since Mao died) the kind of evil totalitarian regime that the Soviet Union was and which fully warranted containment. So be careful what kind of relationship you want to have with them.

      'sides the cat's out of the bag. Cutting them off might have worked 20 years ago. Not now. But, yeah, still frustrating and worrying - theirs is not the nicest system and the lack of democratic legitimacy makes their leadership prone to flag waving and nationalism.

      I'd say wait and see if it's just about protecting/owning their citizens or if it's about trade barriers in a growing economic sector. If the latter, retaliate or take them to WTO court.

    2. Vector

      @hellwig Re: Just Cut Them Off

      Guess you really don't care about your smartphone, or computer or most of the rest of your modern electronic conveniences which are largely manufactured in China. Manufacturing which I doubt the Chinese government would hesitate long before cutting right off at the knees if a plan like the one you propose were to be implemented.

      Not that we couldn't pick up that manufacturing slack elsewhere in the world, but I'm not sure we could pick it up at the current prices and I am sure we couldn't do it without large amounts of pain!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @hellwig Just Cut Them Off

        Sure, but had the same laws applied in reverse they would never have had their hands on the blueprints to make those phones either. It works both ways. Off the top of your head name a recent chinese invention, say in the last 25 years. And if you can, name another.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Sounds like something both Europe and Gauleiter May should immitate ASAP

    I think Europe might.

    I doubt the High Chancellor in Waiting will.

  12. razorfishsl

    The sad thing is that it is the government & supposed top level controllers that are the problem.

    We had a Chins tech. into one of our offices in China, his machine was so infected with viruses that it was tripping our internal systems every 2 seconds.

    We have even had China Telicom staff, who maintain the endpoints, with the same problems.

    This is where the issues are and they are not being corrected.

  13. EnviableOne

    Makes GDPR sound sane

    its like an extreme version of GDPR, where the EU get to say, you can only send personal info out of europe where we tell you its safe to do so...

  14. razorfishsl

    Complete nonsense..

    There is so much data leakage out of China it cannot be controlled.

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