During the roundtable sessions of CBLJ Forum 2019, Shen Xiao-yu, a partner at East & Concord Partners, moderated a panel discussion on “The impact of GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] on the business model of China’s internet companies and its future trends”. The other panelists included Anna Xue, IP director at the Legal Department of Perfect World, Helen Gu, general counsel at Sina Corporation, Michael Chen, founder and CEO of BIPO, and Xu Chen, dean of the Department of Public Economics, University of International Business and Economics.
Shen pointed out in her keynote speech that data controllers were obliged by the GDPR to disclose to data subjects in a concise, transparent and comprehensible manner. In her opinion, the laws and regulations relating to the protection of personal information in China are quite scattered. However, she believed that the relevant legislation would be more systematic in the future.
Gu shared her view from the perspective of an in-house counsel, indicating that the high cost to achieve GDPR compliance would make some enterprises cut their overseas business. She pointed out that compliance in the area of advertising and marketing was critical for a news and social media business like Sina. In addition, she said relevant supervision in China differed from that of overseas, as Chinese laws and regulations relating to data protection were scattered in different legal hierarchies, and there were more law enforcement departments in China.
“When I noticed that more and more staff handling overseas business started to consult their colleagues at the legal affairs department, I realized that they actually went there for the GDPR,” said Xue.