China passes new Online Privacy Law

China passed a new Online Privacy Law on August 20, 2021 with the aim of preventing businesses from collecting any sensitive personal data.


New law was passed in the backdrop of China facing an uptick in internet scams. Companies like ride hailing giant Didi and gaming behemoth Tencent in regulators’ have been accused of over misuse of personal data in recent months.

About the new rule

  • Under the new rule, China targets tech giants who are collecting personal data.
  • Under it, China’s top legislative body, state as well as private entities handling personal information are required to reduce data collection and obtain user consent before processing it.
  • However, Chinese state security apparatus will be maintaining access to personal data.
  • Law also provided that, personal data of Chinese nationals cannot be transferred to countries having lower standards of data security than China.

What are the concerns?

China has always been accused of harnessing big tech to accelerate repression in northwestern Xinjiang province and elsewhere. New rules are also expected to further rattle China’s tech sector.

Aim of the new law

The new law was passed with the aim of protecting those who “feel strongly that their personal data is being used for user profiling and by recommendation algorithms or in setting prices”. New law will prevent companies from setting different prices for same service on the basis of clients’ shopping history.

How it was framed?

New law has been modelled on the basis of European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. This EU law is considered as world’s strictest online privacy protection laws.




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