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Shenzhen Submits 2nd Draft of Its New Data Privacy Law

China will soon have its first local data privacy law, with the second draft of the Shenzhen Special Economic Data Regulation published for public feedback until 15 June 2021.

Credit: Robert Bye on Unsplash

According to a South China Morning Post report, the regulation is part of Shenzhen's efforts and ambition to rein in the country’s big tech companies as well as provide privacy protection “with appropriate business use”. It was also lauded as China’s first “foundational, comprehensive legislation in the data sphere” when it was first submitted for deliberation on 28 December 2020.

The regulation’s current draft proposes that a fine of 50 million yuan be imposed on companies engaging in using algorithmic price discrimination – the act of using an algorithm to offer different prices to users based on how much the algorithm thinks they are willing to pay. The act has become widely criticised by both Chinese authorities and locals, to the point that the China Consumers Association released a three-section, 14-point document that shows how it negatively affects consumers’ rights.

Additionally, the regulation stresses that an individual has the right to decline data collection requests and to know, correct, delete as well as obtain a copy of the personal information they are providing online. This clause especially affects apps that cater to under-aged users such as Tiktok, with personalised recommendations.

It is similar to Apple and Google's recent data privacy measures in their respective updates to their mobile operating system, wherein the user has the ability to choose whether to provide the information requested by apps and websites.

Tiktok is especially affected by China's new data privacy laws as it also caters to minors. Credit: Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

The Shenzhen Special Economic Data Regulation isn't the only data privacy law that is currently being deliberated by the Chinese government.

The Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), China's first dedicated and comprehensive national legislation addressing the personal data rights of individuals, was first submitted to the Chinese government for public comments on 21 October 2020. Its second draft was recently published for public comments until 28 May 2021. Many of the 2nd draft's proposals are similar to what the Shenzhen Special Economic Data Regulation proposed, such as minors' personal information protection and consent withdrawal.

The Chinese government has been enacting data privacy and cybersecurity laws as far back as 2012 when it adopted The Decision on Strengthening Protection of Online Information. The Decision was reportedly adopted when several government officials were exposed for corruption and the public called for better personal privacy and protection online. China's latest data privacy law, the Personal Information Security Specification, was enacted into law on 1 October 2020.


Written by John Paul Joaquin

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