White paper: A complete cyber legislation system takes shape in China
Updated 14:30, 16-Mar-2023
A science and technology museum on cybersecurity in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, July 3, 2022. /CFP
A science and technology museum on cybersecurity in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, July 3, 2022. /CFP

A science and technology museum on cybersecurity in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, July 3, 2022. /CFP

China has formed a relatively complete cyber legal system as a result of constant efforts in the past decade to promote cyber legislation work, said an official Thursday at a press conference that launched a white paper regarding China's cyberspace governance.

The laws and regulations are intended to protect people's legal rights and public interest, and provide legal guarantee for the sustainable and healthy development of the cyberspace, according to the white paper titled "China's Law-Based Cyberspace Governance in the New Era."

Remarkable achievements have been made in China's cyber legislation over the past 10 years, with five specialized laws enacted, said Yue Zhongming, director of the Economic Law Department under the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Since the Cybersecurity Law enacted in 2016, an online real-name system has been implemented, and measures have been put in place to safeguard the security of network products, services, operation and critical information infrastructure.

In 2018, the Electronic Commerce Law was promulgated, regularizing e-commerce operations and strengthening the protection of consumers' rights and intellectual property rights.

The Data Security Law, promulgated in 2021, has enhanced national data security capabilities and promoted lawful, rational and effective use of data. In the same year, the Personal Information Protection Law was implemented to improve personal privacy protection and safeguard people's rights and interests.

Last year, the country enacted the Law on Combating Telecom and Online Fraud, providing strong legal support for fighting crime and safeguarding people's property rights and interests.

Yue said China also continued to extend traditional legal norms to cyberspace, including the amendment of laws such as the Personal Information Protection Law, Food Safety Law and Law on the Protection of Minors.

Following the trend of internet development, China has advanced its cyberspace governance through legislation that is enacted "in a well-conceived and democratic way," contributing to "systematic, holistic, coordinated, and time-efficient" cyber legislation, read the white paper.

New models explored for cyber justice

"New channels, domains and models" have been explored to further integrate internet technology with judicial activities for the purpose of speedier delivery of justice, the white paper wrote.

Modern technologies such as big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and blockchain are been promoted in the fields of judicial proceedings, judgment enforcement and judicial administration.

Local courts are encouraged to adapt to local conditions and explore new mechanisms for internet-empowered adjudication.

The internet court is a successful attempt to promote judicial model innovation in China. In 2017 and 2018 internet courts were established in Hangzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou, to mainly take over 11 types of internet cases including online financial loan contract disputes, online infringement disputes and online copyright disputes.

Personal information protection 'greatly improved'

Infringement on personal information in China features covert, high-frequency with high-tech means. To address that, China has adopted new ideas and methods of supervision and taken tougher action against illegal activities.

Regular actions have been carried out against mobile applications which collect and use personal data illegally.

Since 2019, China has inspected 3.22 million mobile applications, issuing notice of criticism to or removing nearly 3,000 applications that violated laws and regulations, said the white paper.

Such targeted actions have effectively curbed violations of personal information rights, it said, adding that the public has also built a strong awareness of personal data protection.

"Respecting and protecting personal information is recognized as essential by all," read the white paper.

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