China's Step Forward to Personal Data Protection
China’s national legislature on March 15, 2017 passed the General Provisions of the Civil Law (the “General Provisions”), the opening chapter of a civil code planned to be enacted in 2020. The General Provisions were adopted at the closing meeting of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, and it takes effect on Oct 1, 2017. Article 111 of the General Provisions stipulates the rules for the protection of personal data, which is believed to be one of the highlights of the General Provisions. The protection of personal data was first included in Article 109 of the Second Draft of the General Provisions of the Civil Law on October 31, 2016, aiming to curb the prevalent illegal collection, processing and trading of personal data in the Internet era. This article deals with China’s step forward to personal data protection, including highlights of the general provisions in relation to protection of personal data, China’s recent legislative efforts in the area of personal data protection, and how to protect personal data as the critical competitive advantage and commercial resources and so on.