As multinational companies wrap up compliance preps for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), China’s Cybersecurity Law (CSL) takes center stage presenting new challenges. Although CSL took effect on June 1, 2017, the compliance deadline for the most controversial cross-border data transfer requirement is deferred until Dec. 31, 2018. Companies deemed “network operators” are required to conduct a security assessment if they transfer personal information or important data collected or generated in China to a foreign party. While CSL’s security assessment regime remains under development and the draft bears superficial resemblance to GDPR, the Chinese legislative and enforcement styles create confusion, and sometimes false hopes, for western companies. This article sheds light for in-house counsel with GDPR exposure on how to prepare for CSL’s data transfer requirement.
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