China steps up legal efforts to build digital power, clean cyberspace

Updated: May 22, 2024 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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China accelerated its legal steps to ensure data flow and protect cybersecurity last year to help build digital power and clean cyberspace through the rule of law, according to a report.

The Annual Report on Rule of Law in China, which was released on Monday by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Law, named 2023 as China's first year of an era to tighten the supervision and advance the development of artificial intelligence.

Last year, the country quickened its legislative step on AI application, personal information protection and data flow, issuing a temporary regulation on the management of AI-generated services, the report said.

Meanwhile, the establishment of the National Data Bureau was a milestone in building digital power, showing its determination to promote the digital economic growth and facilitate the data use, it said.

In addition, considering there have no clear legal provisions on how to deal with AI-related disputes, Chinese courts began applying the current laws to seek a balance between the technological development and the protection of people's legitimate rights, it added.

In 2023, for example, Beijing Internet Court made a ruling that recognized the copyright of an image generated via AI, receiving widespread public attention and sparking a heated discussion on the application of the fast-developing technology.

The verdict was regarded as a landmark decision that set standards and market rules for AI, and it was the first ruling of its kind in China.

Although the court noted that it assigned generative AI content a legal status in this case was aimed at encouraging people to innovate with the technology and promote the development of the emerging industry, it stressed that future copyright disputes related to AI-generated content should be still judged on a case-by-case basis.

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