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Some Views on Basic Systems for Data


The Department of Innovation and High-Tech Development of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) offers several “recommendations” for building legal and regulatory architecture around the use, transmission, and protection of data. The document is an important window into how Beijing is thinking about data governance.

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I. Regarding general ideas


1. In building the basic systems for data, it is recommended that the fundamental goals be to fully realize the value of data elements, promote the development of the digital economy, and facilitate sharing by all the people in the dividends of data development, and that the main lines be to optimize the layout structure of data elements, guarantee the equal use of data by various social entities, and promote the compliant and efficient circulation and use of data.


2. It is recommended that the focus be on empowering the real economy, supported by improving the development environment for data element markets, and enhancing security assurance ability, that the institutional barriers that hinder the supply, circulation, and use of data elements be removed, and that we link-up with and lead international high-standard digital rules.


II. Regarding the data property rights system


3. It is recommended that we explore the establishment of a modern data property rights system, and promote the orderly separation and circulation of related rights such as data holding rights and use rights, so as to meet demands for data circulation and use.


4. It is recommended that we should recognize and protect the legitimate rights and interests of all data element participants, and rationally define the rights and obligations of all data element market participants


5. It is recommended that we fully protect the legitimate rights and interests of data sources, and require that the consent of data sources should be obtaining, or legal reasons should exist, for data processors to hold, use, or license others to use data, so as to ensure that data sources enjoy the right to access or transfer the data they generate.


6. It is recommended that data processors be allowed to manage their lawfully held data independently, so as to prevent acts that interfere with or violate the legal rights of data processors.


7. It is recommended that we respect the labor expenditures of data processors, such as for data collection and processing, and recognize and protect their rights with respect to data acquired in accordance with legal provisions or contractual agreements, fully assuring the rights of data processors to use data and obtain benefits therefrom.


8. It is recommended that the differentiated, graded, and authorized use of public data, personal data, and enterprise data be promoted, so as to strengthen the supply of high-quality data elements.


9. For public data generated by government departments and institutions at all levels in their performance of administrative duties and business operations, it is recommended that all localities and departments be encouraged to clarify management departments, and exercise their duties of opening public data and authorizing usage on behalf of their respective regions and industries in a unified fashion.


10. For enterprise data that is collected and processed by various market entities in production and business activities and does not involve personal information or the public interest, it is recommended that the right of market entities to hold, control, and benefit from the data be promoted, so as to ensure that the invested labor and other factor resources receive reasonable returns.


11. For data that contains personal information, it is recommended that data processors should be encouraged to collect, hold, and use the data according to the scope authorized by individuals.


III. Regarding systems for the circulation and trading of data elements


12. It is recommended that the rules for data circulation be further refined and standardized, and that a trading system be built that combines circulation in use with exchange-based and over-the-counter trading.


13. It is recommended that we standardize and guide over-the-counter transactions, cultivate and grow exchange-based transactions, and develop cross-border transactions in an orderly manner, thereby establishing a trustworthy data circulation system in which the sources of data can be confirmed, the scope of use can be defined, the circulation process can be traced, and security risks can be prevented.


14. It is recommended that data circulation access principles be established, and that enterprises should have a strict whole-process data compliance system, so as to ensure that the sources of circulating data are legal, privacy protections are in place, and circulation and transactions are regulated.


15. It is recommended that data processors be supported in adopting over-the-counter and exchange-based data circulation methods such as opening, sharing, exchanging, and trading of data, in accordance with laws and regulations, and that large central state-owned enterprises and large internet enterprises be guided in opening data elements with public attributes to the data trading market.


16. It is recommended that the top-level design of the data trading market system be strengthened, and the qualification and approval institutions of data exchanges be clarified, strengthening their public attributes and public welfare positioning.


17. It is recommended that we should guide the common development of various types of data exchanges, promote the separation of functions between exchanges and data service providers, highlight the compliance supervision and basic service functions of exchanges, encourage various types of data service providers to engage in trading on exchanges, and promote regional and industry-oriented data circulation and use.


18. It is recommended that an intensive and efficient data circulation infrastructure be built to provide a low-cost, high-efficiency and trustworthy circulation environment for both centralized exchange-based trading and decentralized over-the-counter trading.


19. It is recommended that we incubate a number of data service providers and third-party professional service organizations centered on the needs of data element circulation and trading, so as to grow the data industry.


20. It is recommended that we: Carry out international exchanges and cooperation in data interaction, business interoperability, mutual recognition of regulations, and sharing of services; promote the construction of digital trade infrastructure; and actively participate in the formulation of international rules and digital technology standards in areas such as data flow, data security, digital currencies, and digital economy taxation.


IV. Regarding the data element income distributing system


21. It is recommended that we: Adapt to the development trend of digitalization; make full use of the market’s decisive role in resource allocation, and make better use of government’s role; expand the scope of market-based allocation of data elements, and expand their participation in distribution channels according to value contribution; and refine mechanisms for the redistribution and adjustment of data element income, letting all people better share in the fruits of digital economy development.


22. It is recommended that we: Promote market-based evaluation of the contributions of data production factors and determination of remuneration according to contributions; focus on protecting the labor income of data factors in accordance with the principle of “those who invest and contribute are the ones who benefit;” promote the matching of labor contributions with labor remuneration; and strengthen the orientation towards incentives based on data value creation.


23. It is recommended that we establish and improve rational mechanisms for sharing the income from opening public data resources, and promote using the income mainly for expenditures on public services.


24. It is recommended that all kinds of enterprises be allowed and encouraged to provide public welfare services based on public data development. Large data enterprises should be guided to assume social responsibility, and assurance and assistance for vulnerable groups affected by the digital economy should be strengthened.


V. Regarding the security governance system for data elements


25. It is recommended that we build a data element governance pattern that combines effective markets and competent government, and build a model of collaborative governance among government, enterprises and society.


26. It is recommended that we fully exploit the government’s orderly guidance and standardized development roles, hold the bottom line on security, clarify the red line on supervision, and create a market environment for data elements that is secure and trustworthy, inclusive and innovative, fair and open.


27. It is recommended that we adhere to the principle of “lenient entry and strict control,” clarify the main responsibilities and obligations of enterprises, and firmly establish enterprises’ sense of responsibility and self-discipline.


28. It is recommended that we: Encourage social organizations such as industry associations to actively participate in the construction of the data elements market; establish mechanisms for compliance notarization, security audits, algorithm review, and monitoring and early warning for the whole process of data element circulation and use; and promote the safe and trustworthy circulation of data elements under different scenarios.


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Cite This Page

"Some Views on Basic Systems for Data [关于构建数据基础制度若干观点]", CSIS Interpret: China, original work published in National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) [国家发展和改革委员会], March 21, 2022

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