State-Centric Data Governance in China

CIGI Paper No. 282

September 14, 2023

China’s state-centric data governance regime has evolved into a framework characterized by the pursuit of a dual goal to bolster both economic growth and national security at the expense of personal information protection, which is significantly compromised due to the government’s mostly unfettered access to personal data. This paper examines three components of data governance in China and then considers data governance institutions in the country. It describes how digital platform governance and regulation on cross-border data flows have illustrated the country’s dual goal. The paper concludes with a discussion of the global implications of China’s data governance system.

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CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.

About the Author

Xingqiang (Alex) He is a CIGI senior fellow. Alex is an expert on digital governance in China, the Group of Twenty (G20), China and global economic governance, domestic politics in China and their role in China’s foreign economic policy making, and Canada-China economic relations.