China: China's New Cybersecurity Law Targets Infrastructure Players

China's broad new Cybersecurity Law, slated to go into effect on June 1, imposes sweeping data security requirements on network operators and critical information infrastructure providers. Enacted in November 2016 by the Standing Committee for the National People's Congress of China, the law will be administered by the Cybersecurity Administration of China, the Public Security Bureau and the Ministry of Industry and Technology.

Requirements for Network Operators

Network operators are defined as the owners or administrators of a network and network service providers. Networks refer to systems that consist of computers or other information terminals that collect, store, transmit, exchange and process information. The Cybersecurity Law requires network operators to provide technical support and assistance to public or national security agencies when conducting an investigation of a crime. Network operators are also required to adopt technical measures to monitor and record their network operations, and to preserve network logs for six months. Network operators are further required to adopt technical measures to prevent intrusions such as viruses, adopt measures such as data classification systems, and implement security measures, such as backup systems and encryption.

Requirements for Critical Information Infrastructure Operators

Critical information infrastructure is defined as infrastructure maintained by certain industry sectors which would seriously jeopardize national security and the public interest should such infrastructure malfunction, or be subject to damage or data breaches. These sectors include, but are not limited to, public communication and information services, energy, transportation, water, financial services, public service and e-government affairs. Network products and services procured by critical information infrastructure operators are subject to national security examination if such products or services are likely to affect "national security." Critical network products and dedicated network security products are subject to mandatory national standards and need to be certified and approved before they can be sold or provided in China. Critical information infrastructure operators are also required to undergo a network safety assessment at least once a year.

The Cybersecurity Law subjects critical information infrastructure operators to data localization requirements under which they must retain, within the territory of China, critical and personal information which they collect and produce during their operations in China. Personal information is defined as all information that either singly or in combination with other information identifies a natural person, including but not limited to names, dates of birth, identification numbers, personal biometric information, addresses and telephone numbers. They may still be able to transmit this information overseas, but only after undergoing and passing a security review.

Protections for Individuals

The Cybersecurity Law also provides certain protections for individuals. It prohibits network operators from providing an individual's personal information to third parties without the individual's consent, except in cases where the personal information is irreversibly depersonalized such that the data does not identify particular individuals. In general, consent needs to be obtained from the individual from whom personal information is collected when a third party processes it.

Individuals can request that a network operator delete personal information if he or she discovers that its collection or use is in violation of the new law or a contract between the parties. Individuals can also request that a network operator correct any personal information that is inaccurate.


The Cybersecurity Law imposes penalties for noncompliance, including warnings, suspensions of operations, imprisonment and fines of up to RMB 1 million. It also imposes penalties—such as freezing of assets—against foreign corporations or individuals who endanger critical information infrastructure. In addition, the Cybersecurity Law provides that civil liability may be incurred for any breach of any provision of the Cybersecurity Law which results in damages to a third party.

On April 11, the Cyberspace Administration of China released draft Measures for the Security Assessment of Outbound Transmission of Personal Information and Critical Data. On May 19, after receiving comments, the CAC released a revised draft measures. These provide additional detail on the restrictions for cross-border transfers and guidance on security assessments for data transfers.

Storing and Transferring Data

The revised draft measures require not only critical information infrastructure operators but also network operators to store personal information and important data (defined as data closely related to national security, economic development and social and public interest) within the territory of China, unless there is a genuine and legitimate business need to transfer the data overseas. In the event of such a transfer, network operators are required to conduct a security assessment. Large scale transfers (i.e., transfers involving the personal data of more than 500,000 Chinese citizens), or transfers involving sensitive information, such as data concerning national defense or military, public health, and large-scale engineering projects, must be conducted before a regulatory authority. In addition to these security assessments, network operators transferring personal information must also conduct security reviews of their cross-border transfers at least annually and report the assessment to the appropriate regulatory authorities.

There are three instances where data transfers are expressly prohibited under the revised draft measures:

  1. Where the individual does not consent, or when it may infringe upon the interest of the individual;
  2. Where the cross-border transfer poses a security risk to the national political system, economy, science or technology, or the national defense, or societal or public interest could be jeopardized; and
  3. When the Chinese government deems it necessary.

Even when an individual consents, network operators must notify the individual about the purpose, cope, content and recipient and country where the recipient of the transfer resides.


The revised draft measures were scheduled to go into effect together with the Cybersecurity Law on June 1, 2017. However, they contain a grace period until December 31, 2018 for network operators to comply with the cross-border transfer requirements.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
1 May 2019, Conference, California, United States

Th 5th Games Industry Law Summit will kick off with two days of presentations and panel discussions by legal and business development professionals from over 30 different countries.

5 May 2019, Seminar, California, United States

Docs and Hackers is back in Mountain View! This time with a special conversation on the Legal Aspects of Starting and Scaling a Healthcare Business with Michael Esquivel, Stefano Quintini and Andrew Harper from Fenwick and West.

16 May 2019, Webinar, California, United States

J​oin Fenwick lawyers for a live 110-minute CPE webinar with an interactive Q&A. This webinar will provide tax advisers with a practical guide to calculating and reporting the Section 250 tax deduction for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII).

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions