The following document describes, in broad strokes, the Chinese Communist Party’s guidelines for how “big data” can be used to spur economic development. It emphasizes data sharing, but also calls for restrictions on the sharing of classified and personally identifiable information. This document also urges the breaking up of data monopolies and warns that China will reciprocate if subjected to data export controls by foreign countries.
The Chinese source text is available online at: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2022-12/19/content_5732695.htm
An archived version of the Chinese source text is available online at: https://perma.cc/5TLL-UVEM
Opinions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee and the State Council on Constructing a Basic System for Data and Putting Data Factors of Production to Better Use
(December 2, 2022)
As a new factor of production (生产要素), data is the basis of digitalization, networkization (网络化), and intelligentization (智能化), and has been rapidly integrated into various aspects of production, distribution, circulation, consumption, and the management of social services, profoundly changing modes of production, living, and social governance. Construction of a basic system for data (数据基础制度) concerns the overall situation of national development and security. The following opinions are proposed in order to accelerate the construction of the basic system for data, give full play to China’s advantages of massive data and rich application scenarios, activate the potential of data factors of production (数据要素), strengthen, enhance, and expand the digital economy, reinforce the new drivers of economic development, and build new national competitive advantages.
I. Overall Requirements
(i) Guiding ideology. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, deeply implementing the spirit of the 20th Party Congress, completely, accurately, and comprehensively implementing the new concept of development (新发展理念), accelerating the construction of the new pattern of development (新发展格局), and adhering to reform, innovation, and systematic planning, with maintaining national data security and protecting personal information and trade secrets as preconditions, and with promoting the compliant and efficient circulation and use of data, and empowering the real economy as the main lines, taking data property rights, circulation transactions, income distribution, and security governance as the focus, we should participate deeply in the formulation of international high-standard digital rules, and build a basic system for data that is adapted to the characteristics of data, conforms to the fundamental principles of digital economy development, safeguards national data security, and demonstrates innovative leadership, so as to fully realize the value of data factors of production, promote sharing by all the people in the dividends of digital economy development, and provide strong support for deepening being innovation-driven, promoting high-quality development, and the modernization of the nation’s governance system and governance capacity.
(ii) Work principles
— Follow the fundamental principles of development and innovate institutional arrangements. Fully understand and grasp the basic governing principles of data property rights, circulation, trading, use, distribution, governance, and security; explore property rights systems and market systems conducive to data security protection and the effective utilization and compliant circulation of data; improve the institutional mechanisms of data factor of production markets; and improve through practice while developing through exploration, thereby promoting the formation of new relations of production adapted to digital productive forces (生产力).
— Adhere to sharing and common use in order to release value dividends. Reasonably lower the threshold for market players to obtain data, enhance the shareable nature and universality of data factors of production, stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity, and strengthen anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition efforts, forming a development model featuring regulation by law, joint participation, each taking what they need, and shared dividends.
— Strengthen quality supply and promote compliant circulation. In line with the trend of digitalization-based transformation of the economy and society, promote the adjustment and optimization of the supply of data factors of production, and improve the quantity and quality of data factors of production supplied. Establish a trustworthy data circulation system to boost the levels of data availability, trustworthiness, circulation, and traceability. Achieve dynamic management of the whole process of data circulation, and activate the value of data in its compliant circulation and use.
— Refine the governance system to ensure secure development. Coordinate development and security, implement the holistic approach to national security, strengthen construction of a data security assurance system, incorporate security throughout the whole process of data supply, circulation, and use, and delineate supervisory bottom lines and red lines. Strengthen the categorized and graded (分类分级) management of data, control what should be controlled and liberalize what should be liberalized, actively and effectively prevent and defuse various data risks, and form a data factor of production governance structure with coordination between government supervision and market self-discipline and between the rule of law and industry autonomy, and with domestic-international integration.
— Deepen open cooperation to achieve mutual benefits and win-win outcomes. Actively participate in the formulation of international rules for cross-border data flows, and explore joining regional institutional arrangements for international cross-border data flows. Promote bilateral and multilateral consultations on cross-border data flows, and advance the establishment of mutually beneficial rules and other institutional arrangements. Encourage the exploration of new ways and new models of cross-border data flow and cooperation.
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