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TMT China Brief - Winter/Spring 2016

17 February 2016

Happy New Year of the Monkey, and welcome to this edition of our bi-annual TMT China Brief! 
In the past months, we have seen a series of important TMT developments in Greater China, and this edition discusses the impact of a selected number of them.  In general, TMT markets have still been booming here in recent months and – as always – regulators have been trying to keep up with the fast pace of market developments. 
The past months have brought more regulation – at times, quite stringent new obligations have been imposed on TMT companies.  Many of the new obligations are motivated by one of two concerns:  national security (in Mainland China), and privacy (both in the Mainland and Hong Kong). 
Several of the articles in this TMT China Brief discuss, for example, the Chinese regulators' concern to obtain "secure and controllable" technology.  At a high level, the Counter-Terrorism Law and new rules on cyber security in the insurance space provide some relevant background to this issue.
Another trend that runs through different markets in the TMT space is the increasing obligations upon companies to protect customers' privacy rights.  This is the case for China's mobile app space, and is reflected in a number of developments in Hong Kong –ranging from the quasi-establishment of a "right to be forgotten" and new guidance on data breach handling to convictions for unauthorized marketing.
While more regulation generally imposes more of a burden on companies, some developments may also provide new business opportunities.  For example, the first comprehensive regulation in China on the operation of unmanned aircraft – drones – will likely provide more certainty for companies on what is allowed and what is not, similar to the regulation of China's non-banks payments and mobile app market and Hong Kong's new rules on stored value facilities and retail payment systems. 
The specific content of this TMT China brief is as follows:

  • The impact of China’s counter-terrorism law on technology companies
  • The end of a golden age for China’s mobile app market?
  • China regulates online payment business of non-bank players
  • China launches first operational rules for unmanned aircraft
  • One step closer to a right to be forgotten in Hong Kong?
  • e-commerce sales targeted in SAIC’s “red shield net sword” campaign
  • Ad-block judgment reaffirms ad-based revenue model for internet businesses
  • China proposes new cyber security rules for insurance industry
  • Aggressive enforcement of privacy compliance in Hong Kong with first direct marketing convictions
  • New guidance on data breach handling in Hong Kong
  • New draft amendments to Patent Law released in China
  • International alignment in China’s merger control clearance of semiconductor deal
  • Hong Kong’s new “stored value facility” regime 
To read the full TMT China brief, please click HERE.

The team

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