27th March 2024: China’s New Rules for Cross-border Data Transfer

This episode contains segments on:

  • Final version of the Provisions on Regulating and Promoting Cross-border Data Flows;
  • Actual use of foreign direct investment in January and February;
  • State Council’s action plan to attract foreign investment;
  • China Development Forum 2024.

Also, listeners are invited to attend the half-day Sports Summit in Shanghai on 9th April, to analyse various aspects of the fast-developing sports landscape in China.


We’d love to hear your feedback. Contact us at website@europeanchamber.com.cn.

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Read more:

CAC: Facilitation and Specification of Regulations for Cross-border Data Flows


European Chamber Flash Survey on the Impact of China’s Data Regulations on European Business


MOFCOM: actual use of FDI, January-February


State Council’s action plan to attract foreign investment


China Development Forum 2024


European Chamber event: 1st China-Europe Sports Summit ‘Moving Together’



RUI: Hello and welcome to China ShortCuts,

MARIANN: the European Chamber’s weekly catchup on China’s business landscape.


RUI: On 22nd March, the Cyberspace Administration of China released the final version of its Provisions on Regulating and Promoting Cross-border Data Flows, which is expected to lessen the administrative burdens associated with cross-border data transfers.

MARIANN: This announcement was something that multinational companies were eagerly awaiting ever since the CAC issued the draft version of the document last September. The European Chamber had provided feedback on the draft version, and is pleased to see that some of our members’ recommendations were taken into consideration for the final document. These include the increase of the thresholds for signing standard contracts or applying for certification, and the list of exemptions to relevant obligations.

Building on this positive start, the European Chamber believes the next steps should be to narrowly define the scope of key terms, including ‘important data’, avoid an expansive interpretation of ‘sensitive personal information’, which is still subject to the old rules, and allow legitimate business needs to be taken into consideration in applying the various ‘necessity tests’ required by the provisions.

RUI: Last October, the European Chamber conducted a flash survey among its members to find out the extent to which they are impacted by China’s cross-border data transfer regulations and in which areas they are in need further improvements to the regulatory framework. The report summarising the findings can be downloaded for free from our website.  


RUI: According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, in the first two months of 2024, China’s actual use of foreign direct investment dropped almost 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

MARIANN: Utilised FDI in the January-February period amounted to 215 billion yuan. One third of it was invested into the high-tech sector, with high-tech manufacturing using 28 billion yuan of FDI in the first two months of the year. The Ministry’s data also suggested that during the same period, more than seven thousand new foreign-invested companies were set up around the country, a 35 per cent increase year-on-year.


RUI: On 19th March, the State Council released an action plan listing 24 measures aimed at boosting foreign investment.

MARIANN: The action plan came seven months after the State Council’s Opinions, which also contained 24 points on attracting foreign investment. The two documents overlap in certain areas and have discrepancies in others. For instance, the action plan includes points on facilitating the application and renewal processes for visas and residence permits, which was not mentioned in the Opinions. If implemented in a timely, coordinated and consistent manner, these sets of measures would go a long way to improving business confidence.


RUI: On 24th and 25th March, the annual China Development Forum was held in Beijing, providing a platform for international business leaders and high-level representatives of international organisations to meet with Chinese government officials.

MARIANN: Chinese Premier Li Qiang gave a keynote speech at the opening ceremony, highlighting the successes of 2023, while also acknowledging the challenges that the country has been facing in its economic recovery. While sobering, it is important that problems are not overlooked or ignored. Notably, a large part of the Premier’s speech was dedicated to addressing matters of concern to domestic and foreign enterprises, including the need to support consumption as a driver of the Chinese economy.  


RUI: European sports companies in China are keen to support China’s community goals by promoting healthy lifestyles, sports activities and wellness to create a better life for all.

MARIANN: The 1st China-Europe Sports Summit will be held as a follow-up step to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Chamber and China’s General Administration of Sports with the goal of building bridges between sports communities in Europe and China. 

RUI: Join us in Shanghai on 9th April for the half-day summit will see experts analyse various aspects of the fast-developing sports landscape in China, with panel discussions featuring representatives from European sports companies, sports opinion leaders and government representatives. The event will delve deeper into trending topics of the industry, such as the development of the winter sports, youth sports and motorsports industries. Furthermore, participants will offer their views on the current landscape of the China market as well as the wider ecosystem of the sports industry.


MARIANN: Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to tune in again next week.

RUI: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.

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