No. 759 - Chinese data governance and trade policy: from cyber sovereignty to the quest for digital hegemony?

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by Oscar Borgogno and Michele Savini ZangrandiApril 2023

The paper provides an up-to-date overview of the data governance framework developed by the People's Republic of China. The work investigates whether and how the domestic legal framework on data governance has influenced Chinese trade policy with reference to cross-border data flows and e-commerce issues (at the WTO and G20 level).

This study shows that Chinese data governance features a two-pronged legal architecture in which the Cyberspace Administration of China plays a prominent role. By prioritizing the need to maintain party-state domestic control across the digital economy, China has proved to be extremely averse to any international agreement that could undermine its domestic data governance framework.