All Abstracts > How does national policy respond to data flow: Evolution and Prospects of Cyber Sovereignty in current China
How does national policy respond to data flow: Evolution and Prospects of Cyber Sovereignty in current China
Authors | Affiliation:
Yin Shan | Peking University; Jing Xu| Peking University
China is attempting to strike a balance between data flow and cyber sovereignty. On the one hand, the government regards the data as ‘fundamental strategic resource’ and encourages its applications at various sectors; specifically speaking, the government has released a set of policy tools to attract foreign capital on digital infrastructure and digital economy, aimed at generating more values of big data on ‘high-quality’ development. On the other hand, this country is taking measures to strengthen control over digital infrastructure and cyberspace; in particular, the governing party emphasizes ‘cyber sovereignty’ as the priority option on its internet-related policy making, and the administration is pursuing data localization, including not only ‘personal data’ but also ‘important data’. Since the Cybersecurity Law came into effect in 2017, there has been an increasingly concern about the role of Chinese government in internet-related policy development, and whether the state will seek an absolute control over the cyberspace affairs.
This paper attempts to construct an explanatory framework: there is no contradiction between cross-border data flow and cyber sovereignty in the Chinese context. In the face of the global digital trend, the state must redefine its role and rescale its policy making. In the field of data governance, China must tap into cross-border data flow, transform it into national key resources, and institutionalize it into an integral part of national internet governance system. Therefore, the concept of cyber sovereignty proposed by China does not entail the reterritorialization of cyberspace.
data flow, cyber sovereignty, national policy, globalization
About the authors
Shan Ying is a PhD candidate in the School of Journalism & Communication, Peking University, China.
Jing Xu is a Professor in the the School of Journalism & Communication, Peking University, China. She researches media politics, public opinion and health communication.