Hi. Brady here.
“Rectification.” If you follow news from or about China, then you’ve been seeing this word often. And you’ll keep seeing it in the weeks and months to come. The Great Rectification continues.
So far, at least 351 apps have been warned to adjust the ways they utilize user data. That includes 43 that received notice last week. My colleague Jiaxing dug into the matter yesterday. One detail that jumped out at me was that companies had just one week to issue patches. Even for ultra-iterative Chinese tech firms, that’s a tight time frame.
There are 3 million apps in app stores in China. It isn’t clear how regulators are evaluating them, or how fast they’re moving through the list, but it is apparent that they’re going after major platforms first.
China’s new law that governs personal data security will go into effect in November. Financial penalties for breaching the new rules are hefty: a maximum of RMB 50 million (USD 7.7 million), or 5% of the previous year’s revenue. Companies can also be stripped of their business licenses or even be shut down. Executives found to be at fault can be fined up to RMB 1 million and banned from taking up similar posts.
For consumers, this is probably a positive development, although we wonder how much the general user experience on major apps will change.