Data compliance and export control law

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    Another session by Zhong Lun Law Firm on “Corporate compliance management” contained the topics of “executive responsibility” and “securities compliance” for afternoon discussion during CBLJ Forum 2019. Zhong Lun equity partner Chen Jihong and counsel Zhang Guoxun, respectively, spoke on key compliance points for enterprises with respect to data and export control.

    Cheng said that data has become a core asset of enterprises, and that an enterprise’s data application capabilities determined its competitiveness. The year 2018 was dubbed China’s “first data compliance year”, but in terms of legislation, complementary rules for the system for management of the security of data sent abroad have yet to materialize, and in terms of enforcement, the various authorities reflect a situation of “nine dragons managing the waters”, or, perhaps, too many enforcement bodies.

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    Chen Jihong (left) and Zhang Guoxun

    Furthermore, Chen noted that when Chinese enterprises go global, they have to keep in mind the effect of foreign legislation, including the GDPR (the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation), the US CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) and Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, as well as legislation of the countries along the Belt and Road. “The objective of data compliance is to remove risk, and if we can turn data compliance into data management, this will raise it up one level,” he said.

    Against the background of the trade war with the US, Zhang Guoxun listed anti-dumping and other such trade risks, and said that the maximum enforcement of import controls and economic sanctions and massive fines could be a matter of life or death for an enterprise. “Many enterprises are aware of the risks, but treat this as a chance, an opportunity,” he said.

    Zhang said that US export controls and economic sanctions had extraterritorial effect, and that more than 20 countries and regions along the Belt and Road were currently affected by the US sanctions regime. Accordingly, enterprises needed to pay attention to business precaution. “Executives must recognize that export controls are compliance requirements above business interests, and are a company’s strategy,” he said.

    The media coverage on the roundtable conference is organized based on shorthand transcripts. Any remarks by the guest speakers and scholars represent their own opinions, and not the opinions of the organizations to which they belong. Read the full report of the CBLJ Forum 2019 here.