On September 28, 2023, the Cyberspace Administration of China proposed relaxing restrictions on cross-border data flows in the Regulations to Standardize and Promote Cross-Border Data Flows (Draft for Comment) (规范和促进数据跨境流动规定（征求意见稿)). According to the Draft Regulations, sending some Chinese data abroad will no longer require a data export security assessment. However, some terms in the Draft lack clarity.
Some of the exceptions include:
- Personal information must be provided overseas for the purpose of entering into and performing a contract to which the individual is a party, such as cross-border shopping, cross-border remittances, air ticket and hotel reservations, visa processing, etc.;
- To implement human resources management in accordance with the labor rules and regulations formulated in accordance with the law and the collective contract signed in accordance with the law, personal information of internal employees must be provided overseas;
- Personal information must be provided overseas in order to protect the life, health and property safety of natural persons in emergencies;
- Personal information of less than 10,000 people that is expected to be provided overseas within one year.
However, “important data” is not defined in the Draft and may be using the term as vaguely defined in China’s Security Assessment Measures on Cross-border Transfers of Data (数据出境安全评估办法), i.e., “data that may endanger national security, economic operations, social stability, public health and safety, etc., once it is tampered with, destroyed, leaked, or illegally obtained or used illegally.”
Further, section 8 states that “Providing sensitive information or sensitive personal information involving the party, government, military, or secret-related units to overseas parties shall be carried out in accordance with relevant laws, administrative regulations, and departmental rules.” Accordingly, it is unclear if the above exceptions apply to Communist Party members, which currently number close to 100 million people.
Comments are due October 15, 2023. The full text is available here (Chinese only).
A translation is available here published by