China’s privacy protection strategy and its geopolitical implications

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How has China’s privacy protection strategy been developed, with its broad scope and stringent requirements for data localization and cross-border data flows? What are the broader geopolitical implications of its divergence from Western models of data privacy? This paper argues that China's privacy protection strategy, characterized by its comprehensive regulatory framework and government access to data, is redefining the contours of global data governance and creating new geopolitical fault lines. Drawing on official documents, laws, regulations, and a case study, this paper highlights the evolution of the regulatory framework in response to emerging challenges posed by technological innovations and the wider geopolitical environment. This paper contributes to the broader discussion regarding the implications of China's privacy protection approach, highlighting potential normative clashes with countries that favor a more open digital economy. China's efforts in developing its own privacy protection strategy have also resulted in the formulation of global standards for data privacy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Review of Political Economy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2024


  • Data sovereignty
  • Digital economy
  • Privacy protection
  • Data localization
  • Cross-border data flow
  • Global data governance


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