China’s PIPL privacy law imposes new data handling requirements

The Personal Information Protection Law will force global companies doing business in China to be more careful with cross-border flow of personal information.

As part of the country’s growing scrutiny over the tech sector, China enacted on August 21 a sprawling and comprehensive data privacy law, the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which goes into effect on November 1, 2021. In combination with China’s newly enacted and still little-understood Data Protection Law, which goes into effect on September 1, 2021, this law promises to impose a host of new data privacy, security, and protective obligations on all US and global companies doing business in China.

These significant laws fit into China’s broad “informatization policy,” which Chinese President Xi Jinping has described as the modern equivalent of industrialization. However, the data protection law comes closer to serving more as a cybersecurity law than the PIPL. In his efforts to boost China to” cyber superpower” status, President Xi has famously said that “cybersecurity and informatization are two wings of one body, and two wheels of one engine.”

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