Data is the new oil” has become the mantra in an increasingly digitalized world and nowhere is that more evident than in China.
The world’s most populous nation has embraced technology with gusto — e-commerce is the new High Street and smartphones are the new purses, wallets, and bank cards.
The digital footprints of consumers and businesses are valuable commodities in high demand by everyone from advertisers and consumer goods companies to banks, online lending platforms, and, inevitably, criminals.
The collection, storage and sale of information on individuals and companies has turned into a multi-billion-dollar industry and
one become of increasing concern to the government and consumers because of the potential for abuse.
One of the biggest markets for data, especially on spending and debt, is the credit reporting industry,
which feeds state-backed credit reference agencies, banks,
and other lenders with information that helps them assess the creditworthiness of potential borrowers.
But the People’s Bank of China (PBOC),
which is responsible for supervising and managing the sector, has, by its own admission,
struggled to keep up with the industry’s rapid and relatively unfettered expansion.
The first regulations were issued by the State Council and took effect in March 2013 (link in Chinese)
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