China set to further restrict cross-border data flow

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In a recently published five-year plan, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has called for improving the cross-border security management of big data till 2025, according to reports.

Reuters reports that strengthening the management of data flows across its borders, and more support for open source initiatives, are among the six key tasks outlined in the plan.

As part of the plan, MIIT reportedly estimates the scale of China's big data industry to exceed three trillion yuan (about $470.79 billion) by the end of 2025.

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The plan also called for improving the "marketization" of data, improving computing power, and playing a leading role in developing global technology standards.

Exercising control

Reuters says the plan, which builds off of China's 14th five-year plan published earlier this year, doubles down on the country’s stance of strengthening its regulatory framework for ferrying and storage of data. 

The new plan helps confirm China’s view of data as a "factor of production," and a "national strategic resource.”

Notably, the new plan comes on the heels of two key data-centric legislations the country has brought into force this year, namely the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) and the Data Security Law, which, in essence, list a comprehensive set of rules that govern the collection, processing, storage, and protection of data. 

On the face of it, the laws help detail compliance requirements for companies operating outside the mainland to help ensure users’ data is protected when it’s ferried outside of China. However, they are generally seen as a bid by the country to exercise control over how companies and organizations store and move data across the mainland.

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Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.