China internet’s “Wild West” days are over as China gets out-front with the new data laws that will lead to a better long-term future —brace for impact in the short-term.
This interview covers only a few brief points about China’s new data laws. There’s a lot that couldn’t fit into a 3-minute piece that is arguably not my finest work.
- 0:14 Why were these laws introduced now
- 1:08 Is it net positive, what does it mean for tech companies in China?
- 2:11 This is part of a wider crackdown in the industry?
What is important is that this is not a uniquely Chinese problem.
Across the world, governments are trying to cope with the relationship that big tech and data have with society. Witness the new US Justice Dept. moves against Google advertising today.
What these regulations strive to do is to set up a better balance between big techs’ ability to take your data and your rights are to say “no, you can’t have it.” They also strive to ensure that critical data stays in-country.
Frankly, these are issues for governments across the world and the EU was prescient to be the first to deal with this through GDPR regulations. Kudos to the EU! The second issue of data sovereignty is a US specialty. The entire TikTok ban was based on the Trump administration’s view that TikTok user data should stay in the US. Data sovereignty at its finest.
It’s China’s turn to deal with #bigtech companies whose reputation for sucking up data is the stuff of legend. As I’ve said in the past, China’s regulators are not timid and both the new Personal Data Privacy and Data Security Laws waste no time in redefining data handling by big tech.
China is getting out front on one of the most critical issues facing our society. I think China is getting more right than wrong with these new laws, but the most important thing is that they are being proactive to lay out the laws that will govern the internet of the future. This isn’t ad-hoc regulation anymore.
Short-term this will be painful, I’ve said it before: “China’s regulators don’t care how much money you lose.” What they do care about is the long-term relationship that tech has with society and they’re laying the foundations for longer-term growth.
The question I choked on was is it expensive? My answer was that it wouldn’t be excessive for multinationals in China. That is factually true.
The better answer was: How much is your privacy worth?