What happened: Beginning with November 1st, Chinese police will have authority to walk into the premises of any company that provides internet services, look up and copy information considered relevant to cybersecurity matters. This includes a wide range of businesses including internet information providers, internet cafes to data centers. The police can now also conduct remote detection of any network security vulnerabilities in the companies. Aside from ensuring against hacking and viruses, the police can check if the company is following China’s strict rules on disseminating content and cooperating with authorities on national security and terrorism-related issues.
Why it’s important: The new regulations come a year after the controversial cybersecurity law which caused concern among foreign companies operating in China. According to media reports, police raids have already started to give headaches to a number of Japanese companies. The regulations have also been described as vague and overreaching although it is likely that more detailed regulations will be brought in the future. Experts also claim that the Chinese police already had the authority to inspect internet service providers in the same way stipulated by the new regulations.