New rules to help improve flow of data



Authorities said earlier this week that they would roll out ownership rules this year to facilitate data trading and circulation while optimizing regulations on the flow of data overseas, as a pivotal part of the country’s efforts to balance development and security.

The move was outlined at the national data work conference in Beijing, which was held on Monday and Tuesday, and was part of a national drive to bolster the digital economy and create new growth points by upgrading legacy industries with digital technologies.

According to a media release of the meeting, the attendants agreed that this year, the National Data Bureau, which was launched in October, will prioritize building “sound data infrastructure”, including a property rights system that will help accelerate data flow and transactions and rules that will determine how benefits accrued from data mining should be distributed.

The bureau was created to safeguard data security and boost the digital economy. It is administered by the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner.

Ouyang Rihui, a professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics, said in an interview with the Security Times newspaper that developing data infrastructure is crucial for the efficient circulation of data and can help unleash its “multiplier effect” to empower traditional industries. Data has been leveraged to aid work in various sectors, ranging from precision agriculture to autonomous driving and efficient steel production.

“The essence of utilizing data is to explore more application scenarios,” he said.

Meeting attendants also proposed mining government statistics and other public data resources to inspire other utilization scenarios. They suggested supporting the creative use of personal and corporate data, and creating a friendly environment for utilizing data.

The officials also underscored the potential of digitalization in driving progress, pledging to advance high-quality development through digitalization and developing the digital economy and public services.

They said government investment would be ramped up to build a national network for computing power and data circulation, while urging to “always keep a tight grip on data security” and enhance the level of technical support to protect data.

In addition, China will step up global cooperation in the digital economy and optimize rules for cross-border data flow, the officials said.

Figures from the meeting showed that China last year reproduced 32 zettabytes of data, with the world’s total amount of data estimated to top 175 zettabytes by the end of next year.

Xinhua News Agency said every 10 percent increase in data flow can generate 0.2 of a percentage point of GDP growth.