European Union businesses have expressed concerns about China’s data laws, citing their lack of clarity and the lengthy processes involved, according to European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova. In July, China expanded its counter-espionage law, which now prohibits the transfer of any information related to national security and interests without clearly defining those terms. The law also broadens the definition of spying to include cyberattacks against state organs or critical infrastructure. President Xi Jinping’s focus on national security, including crackdowns on consultancies and due diligence firms, has left foreign companies uncertain about the boundaries of the law. Jourova highlighted the lack of definitions for important data and the unclear consequences of violating the law as problematic. She also mentioned the lengthy time it takes to complete procedural matters, with some processes lasting up to 45 days or even longer. Jourova made these remarks after co-chairing the EU-China High-level Digital Dialogue, where she proposed creating an information link to help EU businesses understand the law and ensure compliance. She emphasized the importance of maintaining open communication channels between China and Europe, especially in areas of disagreement. In late July, the Chinese commerce ministry briefed representatives from various foreign chambers of commerce and firms on the new anti-espionage law, stating that China is committed to creating a fair and transparent business environment.
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