Ex-Bank of China Chief Calls for Ban on Chinese Companies with Sensitive Data from Listing Abroad

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The former head of one of China’s big state-owned banks has called for greater efforts to develop the market for digital assets and the use of data as a factor of production.

Li Lihui (李礼辉), former head of the Bank of China (BOC), has called for “comprehensive increase in the productivity of data as a factor of production, and achieving maximisation of the resources value of data as a factor of production,” according to a report from Cailianshe.

“If data just ‘lies’ in databases, it’s the same as leaving iron and coal mines unexploited. Unless there is overall transfer, then there is only potential value, and no commercial value that can be realised.”

Li called for greater efforts to grow China’s market for digital assets, given its present laggard state of development.

“At present no digital assets market has been truly formed within the whole nation, yet in the era of digital economies we need a market for digital assets.”

The creation of this market for digital assets, and digitised financial assets in particular, will require certification, valuation, exchange platforms and mechanisms for ownership transfer. Li called for exploring the application of new technologies such as the blockchain and artificial intelligence to the establishment of “digital trust mechanisms” in order to expedite this process.

Li also pointed to the security implications of developing China’s market for data assets, and the need for measures to shore up national security.

“At the regulatory level there is also the need to appropriately regulate the export of data abroad…for this reason China should have a clearer regulatory system, and prohibit enterprises with large amounts of sensitive data and private personal data from going abroad to list.

“[We] should strengthen assessments and security grades for the reliability and data security of data cloud services, and on the basis of security grades formulate data collection and processing scopes.”

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