Data Security Law of the People's Republic of China

Below you can find the translated English version of the Data Security Law of China.

Table of Contents

Chapter I General Provisions 

Article 1 This Law is enacted for the purposes of regulating data processing activities, safeguarding data security, promoting data development and utilization, protecting the lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations, and maintaining national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

Article 2 This Law shall apply to data processing activities and the security supervision thereof conducted in the territory of the People’s Republic of China.
Those that conduct data processing activities outside the territory of the People’s Republic of China to the detriment of the national security, public interest, or lawful rights and interests of citizens and organizations of the People’s Republic of China shall be held legally liable in accordance with the law.

Article 3 For the purposes of this Law, “data” means any record of information in electronic or any other form.
“Data processing” includes but is not limited to the collection, storage, use, processing, transmission, provision, and public disclosure of data.
“Data security” means that necessary measures are taken to ensure the state of effective protection and lawful utilization of data and have the capability to safeguard the continuing state of security.

Article 4 In the maintenance of data security, a holistic approach to national security shall be adhered to, a data security governance system shall be established and improved, and the capability to safeguard data security shall be enhanced.

Article 5 The central leading body for national security shall be responsible for coordinating the policymaking and deliberations on national data security work, researching, developing, guiding the implementation of national data security strategies and relevant major guidelines and policies, conducting overall coordination of significant affairs and important tasks concerning national data security, and establishing a national data security work coordination mechanism.

Article 6 Each region or department shall be responsible for the data collected and generated in its work and the data security.
Industrial sector, telecommunications, transportation, finance, natural resources, health, education, science and technology, and other departments shall undertake the duty to supervise data security in their respective industries and fields.
Public security authorities and national security authorities, among others, shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Law and relevant laws and administrative regulations, undertake the duty to supervise data security within their respective purviews.
The national cyberspace authority shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Law and relevant laws and administrative regulations, be responsible for conducting overall coordination of cyber data security and related supervision work.

Article 7 The state shall protect the data-related rights and interests of individuals and organizations, encourage the lawful, reasonable and effective utilization of data, safeguard the orderly and free flow of data in accordance with the law, and promote the development of a digital economy with data as a key factor.

Article 8 When conducting data processing activities, one shall comply with laws and regulations, respect social norms and ethics, observe business and professional ethics, act in good faith, perform data security protection obligations, and undertake social responsibilities, and shall neither compromise national security and public interest nor harm the lawful rights and interests of any organization or individual.

Article 9 The state shall support the publicity and dissemination of knowledge on data security, raise the awareness and level of data security protection in the whole society, and push relevant departments, industry organizations, scientific research institutions, enterprises, and individuals, among others, to jointly participate in data security protection work, so as to create a favorable environment for the whole society to jointly maintain data security and promote development.

Article 10 A relevant industry organization shall, in accordance with its articles of association, formulate a code of conduct and group standards for data security in accordance with the law, strengthen industry self-regulation, guide members in strengthening data security protection, improve the level of data security protection, and promote the sound development of the industry.

Article 11 The state shall proactively engage in international exchanges and cooperation in data security governance, data development and utilization, and other fields, participate in the formulation of international rules and standards related to data security, and promote the secure and free cross-border flow of data.

Article 12 Any individual or organization shall have the right to complain and report to an appropriate department on a violation of this Law. The department that receives the complaint or report shall handle it in a timely manner in accordance with the law.
The appropriate department shall keep confidential the relevant information on the complainant or reporting person, and protect the lawful rights and interests of the complainant or reporting person.

Chapter II Data Security and Development

Article 13 The state shall coordinate development and security, and adhere to promoting data security with data development and utilization and industry development and safeguarding data development and utilization and industry development with data security.

Article 14 The state shall implement a big data strategy, advance the construction of data infrastructure, and encourage and support the innovative application of data in various industries and fields.
The people’s government at or above the provincial level shall incorporate the development of a digital economy into the national economic and social development plan at the level, and formulate a general plan on digital economy development as needed.

Article 15 The state shall support the development and utilization of data to improve the intelligence level of public services. In the provision of intelligent public services, the needs of the elderly and the disabled shall be fully considered to avoid creating obstacles to their daily life.

Article 16 The state shall support the technological research on data security and data development and utilization, encourage technological promotion and commercial innovation in the fields of data development and utilization and data security, among others, and cultivate and develop data development and utilization and data security product and industry systems.

Article 17 The state shall advance the construction of the data development and utilization technology and data security standards system. The standardization department of the State Council and the relevant departments of the State Council shall, within their respective purviews, organize the formulation and timely revision of standards related to data development and utilization technology and products and data security. The state shall support enterprises, social groups, and educational and scientific research institutions, among others, in participating in the formulation of standards.

Article 18 The state shall promote the development of data security testing, assessment, certification, and other services, and support data security testing, assessment, certification, and other professional institutions in conducting service activities in accordance with the law.
The state shall support the collaboration of relevant departments, industry organizations, enterprises, educational and scientific research institutions, and relevant professional institutions in the assessment, prevention, and disposition, among others, of data security risks.

Article 19 The state shall establish and improve a data trading management system, regulate the conduct of data trading, and cultivate data trading markets.

Article 20 The state shall support educational and scientific research institutions and enterprises, among others, in providing education and training on data development and utilization technology and data security, foster professionals in data development and utilization technology and data security by various means, and promote the exchange of talents.

Chapter III Data Security System

Article 21 The state shall establish a categorized and hierarchical data protection system to provide categorized and hierarchical protection for data based on the importance of data in economic and social development and the degree of harm caused by data tampering, destruction, or divulgence or illegal acquisition or utilization of data to national security, public interest, or lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations. The national data security work coordination mechanism shall coordinate the relevant departments in the formulation of a catalog of important data to strengthen the protection of important data.
Data that matters to national security, the lifeline of national economy, important aspects of people’s livelihood, or material public interest, among others, shall be national core data subject to a more stringent management system.
Each region or department shall, according to the categorized and hierarchical data protection system, determine the specific catalogs of important data in the region or department and in the relevant industries and fields, and provide priority protection for data on the catalogs.

Article 22 The state shall establish a centralized, unified, efficient, and authoritative mechanism of data security risk assessment, reporting, information sharing, monitoring, and early warning. The national data security work coordination mechanism shall coordinate relevant departments in strengthening their work on the acquisition and analysis of and research and judgment on data security risk information and the early warning.

Article 23 The state shall establish a data security emergency response and disposition mechanism. When a data security event occurs, the appropriate department shall initiate its emergency response plan in accordance with the law, adopt corresponding emergency response and disposition measures, prevent the aggravation of harm, eliminate potential security risks, and release to the public in a timely manner the warning information related to the public.

Article 24 The state shall establish a data security review system to conduct national security reviews on data processing activities that affect or may affect national security.
A security review decision made in accordance with the law shall be final.

Article 25 The state shall impose export control in accordance with the law on data as controlled items related to safeguarding national security and interest and performing international obligations.

Article 26 Where any country or region takes any discriminatory prohibition or restriction or other similar measures against the People’s Republic of China in investment or trade, among others, related to data and data development and utilization technology, among others, the People’s Republic of China may take measures against the country or region reciprocally based on the actual circumstances.

Chapter IV Data Security Protection Obligations

Article 27 In conducting data processing activities, one shall, in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations, establish and improve a whole-process data security management system, organize data security education and training, and take corresponding technical measures and other necessary measures to safeguard data security. In conducting data processing activities by using the Internet or any other information network, one shall perform the above data security protection obligations on the basis of the hierarchical cybersecurity protection system.
A processor of important data shall specify a person in charge of data security and a data security management body, and enforce the responsibility for data security protection.

Article 28 Conducting data processing activities and research and development of new data technologies shall be conducive to promoting economic and social development and enhancing the well-being of the people, and comply with social norms and ethics.

Article 29 In conducting data processing activities, one shall strengthen risk monitoring, and when any data security defect, vulnerability, or other risk is discovered, immediately take remedial measures; and when a data security event occurs, immediately take disposition measures, and notify users and report to the appropriate department in a timely manner as required.

Article 30 A processor of important data shall conduct regular risk assessments with respect to its data processing activities as required, and submit risk assessment reports to the appropriate department.
The risk assessment report shall include the type and quantity of important data processed, information on data processing activities, the data security risks faced, and countermeasures.

Article 31 The security management of the cross-border transfer of important data collected and generated by operators of key information infrastructure during their operations in the territory of the People’s Republic of China shall be governed by the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China; and the measures for the security management of the cross-border transfer of important data collected and generated by other data processors during their operations in the territory of the People’s Republic of China shall be developed by the national cyberspace authority in conjunction with the relevant departments of the State Council.

Article 32 Any organization or individual shall collect data by lawful and proper means, and shall not steal or otherwise illegally acquire data.
Data shall be collected and used for the purpose and within the scope prescribed by the laws and administrative regulations, if so prescribed.

Article 33 An institution engaged in data trading intermediary services shall, when providing services, require a data provider to explain the source of data, examine the identity of both parties to the trading, and keep records of examination and trading.

Article 34 Where an administrative license shall be obtained for the provision of data processing-related services as required by any law or administrative regulation, the service provider shall obtain the license in accordance with the law.

Article 35 As needed for maintaining national security or investigating crimes, a public security authority or national security authority shall legally pull data in accordance with relevant provisions issued by the state and by strictly following approval procedures, and the relevant organizations and individuals shall provide cooperation.

Article 36 The competent authority of the People’s Republic of China shall process a request for data from a foreign judicial or law enforcement authority in accordance with relevant laws and international treaties and agreements entered into or acceded to by the People’s Republic of China, or under the principle of equality and reciprocity. Without the approval of the competent authority of the People’s Republic of China, a domestic organization or individual shall not provide data stored in the territory of the People’s Republic of China to any foreign judicial or law enforcement authority.

Chapter V Security and Public Availability of Government Data 

Article 37 The state shall vigorously advance the construction of e-government, improve the scientific character, accuracy, and timeliness of government data, and enhance the capability to use data to serve economic and social development.

Article 38 A state authority shall, as needed for performing its statutory duties, collect and use data in accordance with the conditions and procedures prescribed by laws and administrative regulations to the extent of performance of its statutory duties; and keep confidential in accordance with the law the individual privacy, personal information, trade secrets, confidential business information, and other data which comes to its knowledge, and shall not divulge or illegally provide others with such data.

Article 39 A state authority shall, in accordance with laws and administrative regulations, establish and improve a data security management system, enforce responsibilities for data security protection, and safeguard government data security.

Article 40 In commissioning others to construct or maintain an e-government system or store or process government data, a state authority shall undergo strict approval procedures, and oversee the commissioned party’s performance of corresponding data security protection obligations. The commissioned party shall perform its data security protection obligations in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations and as agreed in contracts, and shall not retain, use, divulge, or provide others with government data without authorization.

Article 41 A state authority shall, under the principles of equity, fairness, and convenience for the people, publicly disclose government data in a timely and accurate manner as required, unless public disclosure is prohibited in accordance with the law.

Article 42 The state shall formulate catalogs of open government data, build uniform, standardized, interconnected, safe, and controllable platforms for the opening of government data, and promote the public availability and utilization of government data.

Article 43 Where an organization with the function of managing public affairs as authorized by laws and regulations conducts data processing activities in order to perform its statutory duties, the provisions of this Chapter shall apply.

Chapter VI Legal Liability

Article 44 Where, in performing its duty to supervise data security, an appropriate department discovers that any data processing activities present a relatively large security risk, it may interview the relevant organization and individuals in accordance with the prescribed authority and procedures, and require the relevant organization and individuals to take measures to address issues and eliminate potential risks.

Article 45 Where an organization or individual conducting data processing activities fails to perform any of the data security protection obligations under Articles 27, 29 and 30 of this Law, the appropriate department shall order corrective action to be taken by and issue a warning to the violator, and may impose a fine of not less than 50,000 yuan nor more than 500,000 yuan on the violator and a fine of not less than 10,000 yuan nor more than 100,000 yuan on any directly liable executive in charge or other directly liable person; and if the violator refuses to take corrective action or there is any serious consequence such as divulgence of a large amount of data, shall impose a fine of not less than 500,000 yuan nor more than 2 million yuan on the violator, and may order suspension of the related business, suspension of business for overhaul, revocation of the related business permit, or revocation of business license, and impose a fine of not less than 50,000 yuan nor more than 200,000 yuan on any directly liable executive in charge or other directly liable person.
Where the national core data management system is violated, compromising national sovereignty, security, and development interests, the appropriate department shall impose a fine of not less than 2 million yuan nor more than 10 million yuan on the violator, and order suspension of the related business, suspension of business for overhaul, revocation of the related business permit, or revocation of business license according to the circumstances; and if the violation is criminally punishable, the offender shall be held criminally liable in accordance with the law.

Article 46 Where any important data is provided to any overseas recipient in violation of Article 31 of this Law, the appropriate department shall order corrective action to be taken by and issue a warning to the violator, and may impose a fine of not less than 100,000 yuan nor more than 1 million yuan on the violator and a fine of not less than 10,000 yuan nor more than 100,000 yuan on any directly liable executive in charge or other directly liable person; or if the circumstances are serious, shall impose a fine of not less than 1 million yuan nor more than 10 million yuan on the violator, and may order suspension of the related business, suspension of business for overhaul, revocation of the related business permit, or revocation of business license, and impose a fine of not less than 100,000 yuan nor more than 1 million yuan on any directly liable executive in charge or other directly liable person.

Article 47 Where an institution engaged in data trading intermediary services fails to perform the obligation under Article 33 of this Law, the appropriate department shall order the violator to take corrective action, and impose a fine of not less than one times nor more than ten times the illegal income therefrom, which shall be confiscated, or a fine of not less than 100,000 yuan nor more than 1 million yuan if there is no illegal income or the illegal income is less than 100,000 yuan, and may order suspension of the related business, suspension of business for overhaul, revocation of the related business permit, or revocation of business license; and impose a fine of not less than 10,000 yuan nor more than 100,000 yuan on any directly liable executive in charge or other directly liable person.

Article 48 Where provision of cooperation in the pulling of data is refused in violation of Article 35 of this Law, the appropriate department shall order corrective action to be taken by, issue a warning to, and impose a fine of not less than 50,000 yuan nor more than 500,000 yuan on the violator, and impose a fine of not less than 10,000 yuan nor more than 100,000 yuan on any directly liable executive in charge or other directly liable person.
Where a foreign judicial or law enforcement authority is provided with data without the approval of the competent authority in violation of Article 36 of this Law, the appropriate department shall issue a warning to the violator, and may impose a fine of not less than 100,000 yuan nor more than 1 million yuan on the violator and a fine of not less than 10,000 yuan nor more than 100,000 yuan on any directly liable person in charge or other directly liable person; or if there is any serious consequence, shall impose a fine of not less than 1 million yuan nor more than 5 million yuan on the violator, and may order suspension of the related business, suspension of business for overhaul, revocation of the related business permit, or revocation of business license, and impose a fine of not less than 50,000 yuan nor more than 500,000 yuan on any directly liable person in charge or other directly liable person.

Article 49 Where a state authority fails to perform its data security protection obligations under this Law, any directly liable official in charge or other directly liable person shall be subjected to discipline in accordance with the law.

Article 50 A state employee performing the duty to supervise data security who neglects duty, abuses power, or makes falsification for private gain shall be subjected to discipline in accordance with the law.

Article 51 Where data is stolen or otherwise illegally obtained or data processing activities are conducted to preclude or restrict competition or with prejudice to the lawful rights and interests of any individual or organization, the violator shall be punished in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 52 Where any violation of this Law causes any damage to another person, the violator shall assume civil liability in accordance with the law.
Where a violation of this Law constitutes a violation of public security administration, public security administration punishment shall be imposed on the violator in accordance with the law; or where the violation is criminally punishable, the offender shall be held criminally liable in accordance with the law.

Chapter VII Supplemental Provisions

Article 53 Where data processing activities related to any state secret are conducted, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets and other laws and administrative regulations shall apply.
Conducting data processing activities in statistical or archival work or data processing activities involving personal information shall also comply with the relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 54 Measures for the protection of military data security shall be additionally developed by the Central Military Commission in accordance with this Law.

Article 55 This Law shall come into force on September 1, 2021.

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