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Study on Cross-border Data Flow in Digital Trade (No.39, 2019)


By Chen Hongna, Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations, DRC

Research Report, No.39, 2019 (Total 5539) 2019-3-25

Abstract: The digital economy is the most dynamic and potential power in the current and future global economy, the core of which is the exchange or flow of data based on the Internet technology. From the perspective of the market, data and its flow are the cornerstone for the fourth industrial revolution. From the perspective of the government, new policies on data supervision have become the most active legislative practice in trade policies of various countries. The cooperation between market and government can promote the development of digital trade, while the disharmony of the two is bound to cause contradiction and conflict, which is the reason for constant international disputes over the cross-border flow of data. In order to settle the disputes on barriers to data flow and establish effective international governance rules, it is necessary to begin with solving the core problem. The basic principle is, on the one hand, to advocate the idea of “openness is protection”; on the other hand, we also need to guarantee the realization of such openness and provide adequate security by taking positive measures in legislation, international dialogue, technical cooperation, education reform, infrastructure construction and so on.

Key words: digital trade, cross-border data flow, international governance