World

China's data protection law starts June 1

SHANGHAI China, battling increased threats from cyber terrorism and hacking, will adopt from Thursday a controversial law that mandates strict data surveillance and storage for firms operating in the country, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The law, passed last November, bans online service providers from collecting and selling users' personal information, and gives users the right to have their information deleted, in cases of abuse.

"Those who violate the provisions and infringe on personal information will face hefty fines," the news agency said yesterday, without elaborating.

Reuters reported this month that overseas business groups were pushing Chinese regulators to delay implementation of the law, saying the rules will severely hurt activities. Foreign critics said the new law threatens to shut foreign technology companies out of sectors China deems "critical", and includes contentious requirements for security reviews and data stored on servers in China.

Until now, China's data industry has had no overarching data protection framework, being governed instead by loosely defined laws. - REUTERS

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