China to Drive Growth in Market for Data in 2021


The Chinese government has flagged plans to push for growth in the market for data as a “factor of production” in 2021.

The Central Office of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council jointly issued the “Action Plan for Establishing a High Standard Market System” (建设高标准市场体系行动方案) on 31 January.

The Plan calls for “accelerating the cultivation and development of the market for data as a factor of production,” as well as “strengthening regional and inter-sector sharing and exchange of data.”

Other measures outlined by the plan include:

  • Researching and drafting opinions for accelerating the cultivation of the market for data as a factor production.
  • The establishment of basic systems and standards for data resource ownership, transaction and circulation, cross-border transmission and security.
  • Driving the development and usage of data resources.
  • Actively participating in the drafting of international rules and standards in the data sphere.

The issuance of the Action Plan was shortly afterwards followed by the publication of the “Data as a Factor of Production Leadership Cadre Reader” (数据要素领导干部读本) on 30 January, which was edited by experts from Tsinghua University and the tech regulatory department of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Lou Jiwei (楼继伟) former commerce minister and author of the forward to the Reader, said that data as a factor of production will have major implications for economic and social development, and called for the establishment of rules, unified integration and “an appropriate degree of openness” for the market for public data.