China ups security review for online platforms seeking overseas IPOs

BEIJING, Jan.

4 (Xinhua) — A newly revised Chinese regulation requires online platforms with more than 1 million users to undergo a cybersecurity review when they seek initial public offerings (IPOs) in overseas markets. Operators of critical information infrastructure that purchase network products and services, as well as network platform operators that conduct data-processing activities, will undergo a security review if their activities affect or may affect national security, the regulation says. Regulators will assess whether the public listing of a company may lead to key information infrastructure, core data, important data or a large amount of personal information being affected, controlled or maliciously used by foreign governments, according to the new rule.

The cybersecurity review applications could lead to three outcomes, according to a statement issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). First: No review would be required. Second: If the IPO does not affect national security, it may proceed.

Third: If the IPO is found to affect national security, it will not be allowed. The statement also noted that the move is intended to further ensure cyberspace and data security, and safeguard national security. Reaffirming that opening-up is China’s basic state policy, the statement said that the country has always supported domestic enterprises in making reasonable use of overseas capital markets in accordance with laws and regulations.

The revision of the cybersecurity review regulation was made by 13 central agencies, including the CAC, following the promulgation of the data security law. A set of key elements in assessing national security risks were also specified in the revised regulation. The revised regulation will enter into force on Feb.

15, replacing the current 2020 version.

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