China has announced plans to form a national data bureau, as it attempts to coordinate its data resources and achieve the “digital China” vision put forward by President Xi Jinping.
The new bureau is part of a massive government reshuffle which also includes overhauling its financial regulatory system.
The proposal is set to be voted on by China’s legislature later this week. The plans do not go into a great amount of detail about the new bureau but did say it would take on some of the cybersecurity regulator responsibilities. The new National Data Bureau will operate under the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planning department of the State Council.
Among the tasks expected to fall to the new regulatory agencies introduced as part of the shake up is developing a new approval process for data-intensive internet companies to go public in foreign countries.
The new bureau may be responsible for creating rules on data property rights, pricing and trading, and circulation, according to a source quoted by Reuters.
The digital China vision aims to make data a key factor in driving the economy, along with labor and capital. Several cities in the country have launched data exchanges in recent years, which allow information sets to be traded.
In December, China published an outline of how the country should properly utilize its data resources and develop basic data systems. And this year the government unveiled a plan that stated the country should lead digital development globally by 2035.
The changes also establish a new Central Science and Technology Commission, which will be part of the overhauled Ministry of Science and Technology. The draft of the restructuring also mentions strengthening its national laboratories and research.
A document accompanying the draft explaining the changes, written by State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council Xiao Jie said: “China must work faster to achieve self-reliance in tech “in the face of severe international scientific and technological competition and external containment and suppression.”