China's Tech Regulator Urges Internet Companies to Step Up Risk Assessment

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the country's main technology sector regulator, urged internet companies to step up risk assessment and management of exporting essential data at a meeting on Wednesday, according to a notice on the ministry's website on Friday.

Authorized by the ministry, the Internet Society of China, a state-backed industry group, convened a study session on implementing China's Data Security Law, with representatives from 12 major Chinese tech companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA), Ant Group Co., Tencent Holdings Ltd., Meituan (MPNGF), JD.com Inc. (JD), ByteDance Ltd. and Pinduoduo Inc. (PDD)

The ministry's Cybersecurity Management Bureau urged the companies to take data security protection "as the bottom line and red line" of their operations and to protect China's sovereignty, security and development.

Major internet companies should also specify responsible departments and personnel, and establish a full-life-cycle system and mechanism for data security management, the bureau said.

The ministry also encouraged companies to co-build an industrial data security supervision system and to actively participate in the development of data security standards and key technology research and development.

Ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc., which is currently under a cybersecurity investigation, wasn't included in the list of attendees.

The Ministry of Transportation in a separate meeting Friday reiterated its commitment to crack down on monopolistic behavior and promote fair competition in the country's ride-hailing and truck-hailing businesses, according to a notice on the ministry's website.

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