Beijing Passes a Counterespionage Law in the Face of Multiplying Threats

Apr 27, 2023 | 14:22 GMT

This picture shows the skyline of Beijing on Feb. 3, 2021.

This picture shows the skyline of Beijing on Feb. 3, 2021.

(WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images)

China's revised Counterespionage Law is part of a broader plan to combat threats to state and Party power, presaging greater reputational and data privacy risks for foreign companies, particularly as Beijing's willingness to economically retaliate against the West slowly grows. On April 26, the Chinese legislature revised the Counterespionage Law of the People's Republic of China, originally passed in 2014. The revised law will restrict the transfer of information related to national security and state interests and expands the definition of espionage to include documents, data or any other material related to national security. It also empowers state authorities to inspect facilities and electronic devices related to suspected espionage cases. The law does not specifically define national security or state interests, but previous Chinese Communist Party documents have defined these concepts as including physical, economic, political and ideological security as well as preserving China's technological edge and social stability. The...

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