China’s new Cybersecurity Law (CSL), which went into effect on June 1, 2017, is likely to affect many ECIA members doing business in China. The extremely broad law encompasses privacy protection and the handling of data. The impact on electronic component manufacturers and distributors doing business in China centers on two areas: protection of personal information and any business data considered to be part of what the government defines as “critical information infrastructure.” The privacy protection sections focus on information that may be gathered about natural persons (not businesses) and how such information should be handled by “network operators.” The definition of “network operators” is so broad that it encompasses nearly all businesses. Consequently, any business that gathers personal information and other important data within China must store that data in China and must not export that information out of China except for an acceptable business need after a security assessment. It should be noted that the legal requirements apply when a business transmits information about its Chinese employees overseas.
"The law is both complex and overly broad and subject to open-ended interpretations by Chinese authorities. Companies doing business in China should consult with knowledgeable legal experts as to the specific applications of this law to their operations in China," warned Robin Gray, ECIA COO and General Counsel. "It should be noted that the law provides for significant fines, shutting done companies and imprisonment for violation of the law," he noted.
ECIA's update includes useful links and an unofficial translation of the law. "This is another example of how ECIA keeps its members abreast of domestic and foreign laws and regulations that could impact the industry,” Robin Gray, ECIA COO and General Counsel, concluded.
The Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) is made up of the leading electronic component manufacturers, their manufacturer representatives and authorized distributors. ECIA members share a common goal of promoting and improving the business environment for the authorized sale of electronic components to the end customer. Comprised of a broad array of leaders and professionals representing all phases of the electronics components supply chain, ECIA is where business optimization, product authentication and industry advocacy come together. ECIA members develop industry guidelines and technical standards, as well as generate critical business intelligence. For more information, visit www.ecianow.org or call 678-393-9990.