China on Monday adopted new cyber security and film laws that have triggered concerns among foreign rights and business groups.
The newly-adopted cyber security law is aimed at curbing hacking and terrorism, two issues Beijing says are becoming major concerns.
The law, which will go into effect in June 2017, has been criticized by some business groups, which argue the legislation threatens to keep foreign technology companies out of critical sectors. The law also requires security reviews and for data to be stored on Chinese servers.
Rights group argue the legislation only enhances restrictions on China’s Internet, which is already highly censored.
In August, over 40 businesses around the world petitioned Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, urging for the law to be amended.
The contentious provisions remained in the law’s final draft, which require “critical information infrastructure operators” to store business data and personal information on Chinese servers. They must also pass national security reviews and provide security agencies with “technical support.”
The law comes at a time when President Xi Jinping is cracking down on civil society, including the media and rights lawyers, Reuters reports. The legislation is meant to curb dissent.
China’s top legislature also passed the country’s first film law on Monday, which was met with mixed opinions. Provisions that include harsh penalties for film piracy and box office fraud were welcomed by Hollywood. Vaguely-written provisions were more concerning, such as those that restrict collaboration with foreign studios or individuals that have “damaged China’s national dignity.”
The legislation cracks down on theaters and distributors that inflate ticket sales data.
Under the law, film distributors and theaters could lose their licenses and have their illegal revenue confiscated. Offenders also face fines of up to 500,000 yuan for falsifying ticket sale data. If revenue exceeds 500,000 yuan, the fine may be up to five times the illegal revenue.