Samm Sacks and Lorand Laskai report:
When Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress last spring, he argued that regulating Facebook’s use of personal data would cause the United States to fall behind Chinese companies when it comes data-intensive innovation like artificial intelligence. The implication was that Chinese companies are not constrained by privacy norms and will have an edge if U.S. companies like Facebook are hamstrung by data protection regulation.
But China may not provide Zuckerberg with a convenient counterargument against privacy rules for much longer. Contrary to Zuckerberg’s characterization, China is in the early stages of setting up a data protection regulatory system to police Facebook’s Chinese counterparts. Chinese companies are increasingly finding that the days of collecting data without public scrutiny are over—and Chinese consumers are vocally standing up for their own privacy in ways not seen before. For this reason, a number of scholars hailed 2018 as the year when the Chinese public awakened to privacy.
Read more on Slate.