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International Rules of Digital Trade: American Approach and China’s Strategy (No.127, 2018)


By Ma Yuan, Research Team on “Development Measures of Digital Economy in the Era of Big Data”, Enterprise Research Institute, DRC

Research Report, No.127, 2018 (Total 5402) 2018-8-13

Abstract: At present, the new generation of network information technology represented by Internet, big data and cloud computing is widely applied in the world, and digital trade has become a hot spot of international trade. As the most developed country in digital trade, the United States has significantly increased its efforts from 2016 to 2018 to consolidate its leading position, including clarifying the strategic goals of digital trade, identifying foreign digital trade barriers, proposing rules of digital trade, and taking advantage of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to affect the formation of international rules. In order to ensure domestic network security and protect personal privacy, China has successively proposed relevant requirements in recent years, including localization of network facilities, domestic storage of important data, requirements of domestic technical standards, blocking of illegal information, and restrictions on the proportion of foreign shareholding. However, the United States holds that the above-mentioned measures taken by China have imposed digital trade barriers. Digital trade rules are a key component of the international trade rules of the 21st century. To protect China’s interests, efforts need to be made to strengthen the overall planning, balance the priorities of cyber security, personal privacy protection, digital trade development and other objectives, clarify the offensive and defensive strategy of digital trade rules, and actively participate in the formulation of international rules.

Key words: digital trade, international rules, American approach, policy options