Assessing compliance of trading in geoinfo data products

By Wei Jie and Han Xiangli, Blossom & Credit Law Firm
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As an important production and strategic data resource, geoinformation empowers various industries. Focusing on the acquisition, processing, analysis and application of geoinfo data, the geoinformation industry encompasses surveying and mapping, geoinfo systems, remote sensing technology and location-based services.

Surveying and mapping geoinformation is an important part of the industry and numerous Chinese companies have vast data reserves. On-exchange trading in geoinfo data products therefore makes efficient use of data by promoting the sharing, assetisation and commercialisation of data resources.

For compliance assessment of on-exchange trading in surveying and mapping geoinfo data products, the following key aspects and points should be noted.

Wei Jie
Wei Jie
Partner
Blossom & Credit Law Firm

Clearly define data exchanges intended for listing data products and applicable rules. Listing and trading rules vary across exchanges. Enterprises should compare the policies and procedures of various exchanges before choosing which one to list their surveying and mapping geoinfo data products on.

The compliance assessment must adhere to the chosen exchange’s requirements and guidelines for data trading.

For listing on the Shanghai Exchange, the trading process shall conform to the Administrative Measures of Shanghai Data Exchange for Data Trading (Trial) and other regulations. For listing on the Shenzhen Exchange, it is required to conform to the Interim Measures for Administration of Data Trading in Shenzhen, and other regulations.

Know the data subject’s surveying and mapping industry background and qualifications. China implements a qualification management system for surveying and mapping entities.

Surveying and mapping qualifications are categorised into geodesy, aerial photography, photogrammetry and remote sensing, engineering surveying, marine surveying and mapping, boundary and real estate surveying and mapping, geoinformation system engineering, map compilation, digital navigation map making and internet map services.

Surveying and mapping entities are certified for surveying and mapping in accordance with the Administrative Measures for Surveying and Mapping Qualifications; and engage in surveying and mapping activities within the professional categories and activity limits permitted by the surveying and mapping qualification grade.

Regulators regularly conduct supervisory inspections on the quality of surveying and mapping geoinformation, surveying and mapping qualifications, and insurance inspection in accordance with relevant regulations.

Han Xiangli
Han Xiangli
Associate
Blossom & Credit Law Firm

Data subjects and their surveying and mapping qualifications. Whether the data subject possesses the surveying and mapping qualifications for its products is the primary issue in data compliance assessments – such as whether the data enterprise holds grade A or grade B professional qualifications, and whether its certificate is within its five-year validity – to ensure that surveying and mapping geoinformation falls within that qualification grade and professional category. If the data subject is a state-owned enterprise, the listing and trading of data products must conform to the state-owned asset management policy and approval procedure.

Checking relevant legal provisions and regulatory policies. The surveying and mapping industry is subject to stringent supervision in administrative licensing, so it is critical to know the regulatory requirements on data products and subjects. Compliance assessments for transactions involving surveying and geographic information data products should adhere to national laws and regulations, such as the Surveying and Mapping Law, Data Security Law, Map Management Regulations, Regulation on Basic Surveying and Mapping, and the Interim Measures for Administration of Surveying and Mapping by Foreign Organisations or Individuals in China.

Additionally, these assessments must comply with local regulatory provisions related to the data product and outcomes, as well as industry-specific policies, laws and regulations including the Implementation Measures of Beijing Municipality for Surveying and Mapping Results Management, the Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on Surveying and Mapping, and the Regulations of Guangdong Province on Surveying and Mapping.

Content compliance review lies at the core. Accurate identification of the nature and type of data products is key to compliance assessments. Surveying and mapping geoinformation data can be grouped into various categories under different dimensions. According to relevant regulations, the development and production of products using classified surveying and mapping data – or the provision of classified surveying and mapping results to foreign parties – shall be reported to the competent administrative authorities for approval. Data products that involve important geoinfo data or are classified are likely to be denied listing.

Examining the legality of data sources and integrity of data rights. The legality of data product sources and the integrity of data subjects’ rights are prerequisites for listing. In the case of surveying and mapping geoinfo products, the data subject typically obtains and processes the data independently. Therefore, the examination should cover the data subject’s qualifications, the legality and compliance of data processing, and whether the content and type of data involve important geoinfo and confidentiality. If the relevant data is obtained through procurement, co-operation, authorised account downloading, public collection or crawling, the assessment should include whether the data subject has been duly authorised or licensed to do so, or complies to data crawling rules.

Examining the data compliance and security capacity. The data subject’s data compliance and security management are important underpinnings for data trading. During the assessment, it is necessary to examine the data subject’s policies for data compliance, security management and implementation. This review typically includes onsite due diligence, the data subject’s presentation, and interviews with compliance officers to ensure the data subject is fully capable of protecting data security.

Surveying and mapping geoinformation represents a specialised category of data products. Accurately identifying the key compliance issues related to trading these data products on exchanges is crucial. Understanding these compliance points allows data subjects to effectively utilise their data resources, thereby fostering mutually beneficial growth for individual enterprises and the broader industry.

Wei Jie is a partner and Han Xiangli is an associate at Blossom & Credit Law Firm.

Blossom & CreditBlossom & Credit Law Firm
12/F, 15/F, Tower A, Xinzhongguan Building
No.19, Zhongguancun Street, Haidian District
Beijing 100086, China
Tel: +86 10 8287 0263
Fax: +86 10 8287 0299
E-mail: weijie@baclaw.cn
hanxiangli@baclaw.cn
www.bastionlaw.com

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