China: New Rules to Facilitate and Standardize Cross-Border Transfer of Data Outside China

In brief

On March 22, 2024, the Cyberspace Administration of China ("CAC") issued the long waited Provisions on Facilitating and Standardizing Cross-Border Data Flow (the "New CBDT Rules"), which took effect from the same date.


As background, CAC released the draft Provisions on Standardizing and Facilitating Cross-Border Data Flow on September 28, 2023 for solicitation of public comments. Those draft rules were aimed at responding to the concerns and complaints raised by many companies operating in China (especially those foreign invested ones) about the sweeping and onerous obligations imposed by CAC on their outbound data provision/cross-border data transfer ("CBDT") and the lengthy and opaque administrative formalities and processes for CDBT security assessment applications. The draft rules were expected to be and were actually finalized by CAC before the end of November 2023. However, presumably due to the controversies around policy orientation towards regulation and relaxation of CBDT activities, the finalized rules (i.e., the New CBDT Rules) were not published until very recently. With the New CBDT Rules being promulgated, the Chinese government finally released positive signals with moderate relaxation of its stringent control over CBDT activities since the promulgation of the Personal Information Protection Law of the PRC (the "PIPL") in 2021, and the implementation of CBDT security assessment and China Standard Contract for Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information starting from late 2022.


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Zhenyu Ruan
Partner at BakerMcKenzie
Xi Chen
Chris Jiang
Michael Wang

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