Data Hk and China MoU

data hk

Colliers Valuation & Advisory Services has shared its thoughts on this agreement that will increase demand for Hong Kong data centres and strengthen Hong Kong as an intermediary to mainland China. Colliers Valuation & Advisory Services discusses its significance as it facilitates more personal data to flow between Hong Kong and the rest of the world.

Hong Kong and mainland China signed an MoU on 29 June to increase the free flow of data within the Greater Bay Area (GBA), enabling academic personnel in GBA cities to bypass China’s Great Firewall to gain access to scientific information and conduct research activities without restriction. Furthermore, this will aid the region in the growth of science and technology industries.

The MoU will build upon the existing legal framework governing cross-border data transfers between Hong Kong and mainland China. Under this regime, data users are obliged to inform data subjects upon or prior to collecting their personal information of its purpose and recipients (classes of people) who it may be transferred. Likewise, technical measures and contractual arrangements must be put in place in order to safeguard it against unauthorised or accidental access, processing, erasure, loss or use during transmission.

Data exporters should assess the adequacy of protection in their destination jurisdiction by conducting an assessment of its laws and practices before making their transfer decision. If it turns out that foreign laws and practices don’t meet PDPO standards, additional steps should be taken such as encryption, anonymisation or pseudonymisation to bring protection levels up to standards set out there, along with audit, inspection reporting beach notification support co-operation agreements.

An exporter must maintain records of all personal data it transfers overseas and the underlying reason(s). Furthermore, they should liaise with importers on matters such as statutory approval processes, compliance requirements or procedures.

Long-term, the development of GBA will have profound ramifications for Hong Kong as a global centre for data management and analysis. It will open up significant opportunities for our data industry while strengthening the economy; create new business models and services; enhance competitiveness in digital marketplace; as well as facilitate our competitive edge against foreign competitors in digital marketplace. A global digital ecosystem could become a game-changer for our economy and society alike; therefore we must work together to maximize strengths while welcoming change; sooner rather than later will be better.