CHINA China launches regulations to protect critical information infrastructure


China launches regulations to protect critical information infrastructure

Global Times

21:52, August 17, 2021

Young students take a close look at a model of the BeiDou global navigation network on Tuesday in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province. The space science popularization exhibition was officially opened to the public Tuesday. (Photo: VCG)

China has launched regulations to protect the country's critical information infrastructure, as authorities mount efforts to strengthen data security protection amid risks and an increasingly complicated global geopolitical situation.

The new regulations showed China's efforts to strikes a balance between data usage and security, which is necessary as the US is raising more data submission requirements for Chinese companies seeking US IPOs, experts noted.

The regulations, which will be effective from September 1, stated that China will take measures to monitor, defend and cope with cybersecurity risks and threats both at home and abroad, protect the country's critical information infrastructure from being attacked, invaded, disrupted and damaged, and punish criminal activities.

In particular, operators of information infrastructure are required to take the responsibility to protect the infrastructure's security. For example, they must submit cyber products or services that may affect national security for security review.

Companies should also establish a specialized safety management institution that is responsible for protecting critical information infrastructure, including organizing cybersecurity education and training, carrying out cybersecurity risk appraisals and establishing personal information protection systems.

Operators who don't fulfill their responsibilities are subject to punishment ranging from warnings to fines, the regulations noted.

Critical information infrastructure refers to important internet facilities and information systems that might have serious consequences for national security and the public interest if they suffer any damage, loss of function or data leakage.

On Tuesday, shares of several data security firms soared on China's A-share stock markets. Measurement service provider Dongfang Zhongke was up by the daily limit of 10 percent, while information technology and services company Surfilter Network Technology Co rose 5.69 percent.

Experts said that with China's rapid development of its online industries, especially the rise of mobile apps, it is very important for China to protect cybersecurity from a national strategy perspective, as risks are accumulating that other countries might steal China's sensitive information.

"For example, when geographic mapping companies are seeking overseas IPOs and are asked to submit relevant information, they should be extremely careful," tech analyst Liu Dingding told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The regulations came after China's strengthened efforts to protect data security.

In early July, the Cyberspace Administration of China notified app stores to remove domestic ride hailing app Didi Chuxing due to violations of laws and regulations regarding the collection and use of personal information. The authorities also undertook cybersecurity reviews of three Chinese apps -- Yunman Man, Truck Gang, and Boss Direct Employment.

Fu Liang, a veteran industry analyst, said that it's necessary for China to strengthen cybersecurity management at a time when the US is raising requirements for Chinese companies seeking US IPOs to submit more information.

"A boundary should be set to determine the extent to which operators can collect data and demand information from their clients, regardless of where the collector of the data is listed or does business," Fu told the Global Times.

Many countries are facing the problem of striking balances between data usage and safety, and China is hoping to make some breakthroughs in solving the problem, Fu noted.

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