August 12, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese government has asked automakers to strengthen data protection and store locally generated key data in the country.

Automakers need to get regulatory approval for both when they need to export critical data and before they update in-car systems, according to a new policy published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on its website.

The policy does not include lines of punishment should companies fail to follow the rules.

This comes amid China’s push to ensure the security of data generated by connected vehicles as the proliferation of smart cars such as Teslas fuels concerns about national security, in line with its broader aim to tighten policies around privacy.

China issued in April a second version of a draft Personal Information Protection Law, which calls for tech platforms to impose stricter measures to ensure secure storage of user data.

In September it will implement its Data Security Law, which requires companies that process “critical data” to conduct risk assessments and submit reports.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Himani Sarkar)