China Laws and Regulations Update in September 2021

1. Personal Data Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China

Promulgated by the Standing Committee of National Congress

Promulgation date: 20 August 2021

Implementation date: 1 November 2021

The following is main contents of this law consisting of eight chapters and seventy-four articles.

(I) Application scope

Definitions of terms: personal data mean all data related to recognized or recognizable natural people, recorded in electronic or other forms; personal data processing includes collection, storage, use, processing, transfer, provision and disclosure of personal data.

(II) Improvements of personal data processing rules

Principles that should be followed to process personal data, under which personal data should be processed legally and appropriately and for definite purposes. A set of personal data processing rules based on “notice-approval”, requiring advance full notice and revocable individual approval; specific requirements that should be met to process different types of and in different stages of processing personal data, including requirements for processing personal data jointly or by commission, providing or disclosing personal data to third parties, using personal data in automatic decision making process andprocessing personal data available to the public; A section 
of stricter restrictions on processing sensitive personal data, requiring specific purpose, full necessity and separate individual or written agreement.

(III) Improvements of rules on providing personal data overseas

People operating key information infrastructure or processing personal data that reach the lower limit set by the national network and information authority should pass security evaluation of personal data that need to be provided overseas organized by the national network and information authority.

(IV)Rights of people whose personal data are processed and obligations of people processing personal data

People processing personal data are obligated to comply with rules and protect personal data security and should formulate internal management rules and operational procedures according
to related regulations, take appropriate security measures and designate a responsible person to
supervise personal data processing activities.

(V) Departments with personal data protection duties

Personal data protection covers various areas and is a duty of different departments. Based on what should be done to protect personal data, the draft clearly states the national network and 
information authority is responsible for planning and coordinating personal data protection effectively and the national network and information department and related departments of the State Council should perform their own job duties related to personal data protection and

(Source: Website of the National Congress)

2. Regulations on Several Issues Connected with Application of Laws to Hearings of Civil Cases

Connected with Use of Face Recognition Technology to Process Personal Data

Promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court

Promulgation date: 28 July 2021

Implementation date: 1 August 2021

Document number: L.I.[2021] 15

The following is important parts of Regulations.

(I) Application scope

Article 1 of Regulations clearly defines the application scope. First, Regulations is applicable in civil cases arising from use of face recognition technology to process human face data between people with equal civil rights. Second, the application scope of Regulations covers people processing human face data by using face recognition technology or processing human face data generated by face recognition technology without using face recognition technology.

(II) Provisions relating to personality rights and responsibility for infringement

Articles 2 and 4 of Regulations clearly states that separate agreement of a natural person or their
 custodian is required to process their face data; and breach of the separate agreement or directly
or indirectly forcing a natural person to agree to process their face data should be deemed as 
infringement of their personality rights. Article 5 gives details of Article 1036 of Civil Code, clearly describing causes of exemption of liabilities for processing face data. Articles 6 through 9 relates to burden of proof, allocation of responsibility for infringement between people processing 
personal data, property damage and application of personality right infringement injunctions.

(III) Replies to contract related issues

Articles 10 through 12 of Regulations deal with issues relating to real property management
 services, force of standard clauses and responsibility for breach of contract that attracts attention
 of the general public. Article 11 provides that if a natural person requests for confirming the
 invalidity of a standard clause pursuant to Article 497 of Civil Code, the court should allow it. Article 12 relates to natural people requesting people processing personal data be responsible for breach of contract and remove their face data.

(Source: SPC’s website)

3. Interpretation of Several Issues Connected with Applicable Laws in Cases of Harboring and Covering for Criminals

Promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate

Promulgation date: 9 August 2021

Implementation date: 11 August 2021

Document number: L.I. [2021] 16

Interpretation clearly provides that people who help a person who they know committed a crime to escape and hide or offer the person a house or place to hide in, vehicles such as cars, ships and
aircraft, means of communication such as a cellphone or money should be convicted of the crime 
of harboring a criminal pursuant to Article 310.1 of Criminal Law. Interpretation notes that people who offer a criminal a place to hide in or property for a purpose other than helping the criminal escape and hide should not be convicted of the crime of harboring a criminal and people who fail to perform the statutory obligation to report when doing these acts should be legally transferred to a competent authority for administrative punishment.

Interpretation clearly defines criteria for convicting a person of the crime of harboring a criminal and describes three means of harboring a criminal that are often seen in legal practice, ie. 
deliberately taking the place of a criminal before a legal authority, commonly known as “replacement”, deliberately giving a legal authority a false account or false evidence that a criminal didn’t commit the crime or what the criminal did was not a crime, and deliberately 
providing a legal authority false evidence that the criminal should be given a less severe or reduced or exempted from punishment.

(Source: SPC’s website)

4. Instructions on Strengthening Regulation of Market Access of Intelligent Connected Vehicles

Promulgated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

Promulgation date: 12 August 2021

Document number: MIIT T.Z.[2021] 103

Contents of Instructions: first, management scope and businesses’ responsibilities; second, data
and cyber security management ability increase; third, online software upgrading provisions; fourth, strengthened product management; fifth, full support measures. Regarding data and
 cyber security management ability increase, Instructions clearly states that businesses should
establish a good car data security management system, legally perform their obligation to protect data security, classify data into different types and levels and strengthen protection of personal and important data. In addition, personal and important data collected and generated in China
 should be stored in China according to relevant laws and regulations and pass cross-border data transfer security evaluation to be provided overseas.

(Source: MII’s website)

5. Civil Action Supervision Rules of People’s Procuratorates

Promulgated by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate

Promulgation date: 26 July 2021

Implementation date: 1 August 2021

The following is main contents of Rules.

(I) Criteria for applying for supervision and procedures that public prosecution authorities should
 follow to accept supervision applications are clarified to ensure the entrance to the supervision 
application channel is clear and in a good order.

(II) The range of cases where the supervision process can be started by authority is expanded appropriately to fully perform the duty of legal supervision.

(III) The case review and investigation work mechanism are improved to ensure cases are examined and supervised comprehensively and objectively.

(IV) Standards and procedures for supervising valid decisions and mediation agreements are improved to strengthen supervision of wrong decisions.

(V) Procedures for supervising illegal activities of judicial staff and illegal enforcement are
improved to make the supervision more practical.

(VI) The self-correction system for public prosecution authorities is improved to maintain legal justice and authority.
 The application basis is clarified to ensure the procedural basis cover the whole process.

The application basis is clarified to ensure the procedural basis cover the whole process.

(Source: SPP’s website)

6. Meeting Minutes on Strengthening Exchanges and Cooperation between Supreme People’s Court and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court

Promulgation date: 28 July 2021

The Parties agree as follows.

1. The Parties agree to study and improve links between legal rules and mechanisms of Chinese
 mainland and Hong Kong, especially in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, actively advance work on mutual acceptance and bankruptcy support, explore moves to optimize mutual
 commission on service oflegal documents in civil and business cases, improve evidence collection
support rules, strengthen construction of inter-regional legal support mechanism with Chinese characteristics and give fuller legal support for integration and development of Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

2. The Parties agree to study and optimize the diversified dispute resolution mechanism agreed, co-established and shared with the Greater Bay Area, promote mediation and arbitration services, encourage legal professionals in Hong Kong to join the international business expert committee of the Supreme People’s Court and act as special mediator and jurorin court ofChinese mainland, strengthen cooperation in legal ascertainment and try to establish a legal research platform of the Greater Bay Area.

3.The Parties agree to encourage and advance exchanges, including regular visits, worker exchanges, internship and studies and training in legal support, with the Hong Kong and Macao 
affairs office of the State Council coordinating all these activities; and arrange training on legal practice in Chinese mainland for legal professionals in Hong Kong who passed the bar exam of the Greater Bay Area.

The Parties agree to encourage use of information technology in legal areas and try to strengthen internet based legal cooperation and set up an online legal support platform.

(Source: SPC’s website)

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