An Overview of People’s Republic of China’s Cybersecurity Law

The Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China was adopted at the 24th Session of the Standing Committee. China’s Cybersecurity Law is applicable to network operators and businesses in critical sectors. It is to be noted that businesses affected by the Cybersecurity Law are not limited to those in the information technology (IT) industry.

According to the China Briefing, cybersecurity Law defines network operators as network owners, managers, and network service providers. In fact, nowadays, the vast majority of enterprises employing networks are in line with the definition of network operators, and therefore is subject to corresponding responsibilities and obligations.

 

The Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China was adopted at the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress on 7 November, with 154 affirmative votes and one abstention. The Cybersecurity Law will come into effect on 1 June 2017.

 

Scope of China’s Cybersecurity Law

It is safe to assume that any company (regardless of size and domestic or multinational extent) operating its network – including websites and internal and external networks – to conduct business, provide a service or collect data in China could very likely be in scope.

The Cybersecurity Law is applicable to network operators and businesses in critical sectors. The law requires network operators to cooperate with Chinese crime or security investigators and allow full access to data and unspecified “technical support” to the authorities upon request. The law also imposes mandatory testing and certification of computer equipment for critical sector network operators.

Penalties for Violating Cybersecurity law of China
Under the criminal law Peoples Republic of China, cybercrimes are mainly provided in the section: “Crimes of Disturbing Public Order”. Articles 285, 286 and 287 are the three major articles that directly relate to cybercrime. The punishment for violating articles 285, 286 and 287 include imprisonment, detention and fines. An offender if convicted guilty may have to serve imprisonment up to seven years for illegally obtaining data from a computer.

 

According to the Article 5: The State takes measures for monitoring, preventing, and handling cybersecurity risks and threats arising both within and without the mainland territory of the People’s Republic of China. The State protects critical information infrastructure against attacks, intrusions, interference, and destruction; the State punishes unlawful and criminal cyber activities in accordance with the law, preserving the security and order of cyberspace.

How does the Cybersecurity Law apply to businesses?

The “cybersecurity” in the Cybersecurity Law should be understood in the broad sense. The Chinese cybersecurity law includes a whole range of other domains including:

  • Information Security
  • Control System Security
  • Computer Security
  • Communication Security
  • Automation

 

It is to be noted precisely that the businesses affected by the Cybersecurity Law are not limited to those in the information technology (IT) industry.

 

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China’s Proactive Employment Law Foreign Employers Must Understand

A foreign employer must follow all the legal responsibilities stated in the China employment law. It is a piece of golden advice to all foreign employers to keep an experienced China attorney by their side all the time for proper understanding and compliance with China employment law.

China’s Patent Law

China has a proactive employment policy to make sure the unemployment rate is within a socially tolerable range. From hiring to termination, China’s employment law covers everything. Foreign companies need to understand the Chinese employment law thoroughly before taking on any decisions regarding their China employee.

China employment law basically involves the following areas

  • Employment Contracts
  • Remuneration or Salary
  • Workplace Safety
  • Procedures for Negotiations
  • Labor Disputes
  • Working Hours
  • Protection from Discrimination
  • Compensation or Wage Regulations
  • Training
  • Social Insurance

 

On February 7, 2020, the PRC Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has issued the Opinions on Stabilizing Employment Relationship during the Period for Prevention and Control of the Novel Coronavirus-infected Pneumonia Epidemic to Support Enterprises in Resuming Work and Production (the “Opinions”). Local regulators have issued various similar notices in this regard in Shanghai and Guangdong provinces. A foreign employer must follow all the legal responsibilities stated in the China employment law. The two China employment laws that all foreign investors must consider before commencing a business in the country are:

 

  • 1995 Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China
  • 2008 Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China

 

Few key points of China employment law

  • In China, labor relationships may be reinstated even after termination– employers may be forced to re-hire terminated employees.
  • The Chinese labor law is primarily based on employment contracts. Oral assurance and offer letters are not valid documents to establish labor relationships.
  • The severance pay structure in China is quite peculiar. Sometimes a senior manager’s severance cost is lower than a junior employee’s.
  • PRC lifts restrictions on wholly foreign-owned HR service companies and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issues notice on electronic employment contracts.
  • China takes steps to reduce employers’ contributions to disabled persons’ protection funds and Guangzhou issues guiding opinions on employment disputes.

 

In spite of not being willing to violate China’s overtime laws, many foreign companies frequently break it largely because the China labor laws are incredibly complicated and most English language translations of them are woefully inadequate. Appointing a trusted China business lawyer can solve this problem. It is a piece of golden advice to all foreign employers to keep an experienced China attorney by their side all the time.

 

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