4 October 2023

Digital Technology Guru

Digital Technology Guru Reviews

European Commission Holds High-Level Digital Dialogue with China to Discuss Digital Strategy and Data Regulation

2 min read
European Commission Holds High-Level Digital Dialogue with China to Discuss Digital Strategy and Data Regulation

The European Commission’s High-Level Digital Dialogue with China focused on key topics such as platforms and data regulation, AI research and innovation, cross-border flows of industrial data, and the safety of online products. The dialogue, which aims to facilitate communication between the EU and China on digital strategy and technological developments, was co-chaired Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová and Vice-Premier of China, Zhang Guoqing. Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Rights, Didier Reynders, also participated via video message.

During the dialogue, the European Commission provided updates on the Digital Services Act (DSA), the Digital Markets Act (DMA), and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, while China shared information about its policies and practices in these areas. The two parties also exchanged views on AI.

One of the key points raised the Commission was the need for interoperable Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) standards to ensure a secure data environment. The Commission expressed concern about the difficulties faced EU companies in China in accessing and utilizing their industrial data. It emphasized the importance of a secure data environment and urged China to ensure a level playing field for EU businesses.

The dialogue also addressed concerns about China’s increasing influence on global internet governance, standards, and protocols. The EU and the US have agreed to the Strategic Standards Information (SSI) mechanism to jointly respond to common strategic issues and share information about international standardization activities.

The EU highlighted the importance of protecting critical technologies and ensuring the security of supply chains, critical infrastructures, and technology security. The Commission discussed the de-risking approach, which focuses on mitigating risks to the EU’s supply chains and critical infrastructures.

The dialogue is part of the EU’s policy of open strategic autonomy, aimed at promoting self-reliance and resilience while cooperating with international partners. However, experts believe that achieving convergence in regulations may be challenging due to growing geopolitical tensions and strategic competition.

The dialogue also addressed China’s data and cybersecurity regulations, which pose challenges for European industries. The EU emphasized the need to protect data belonging to EU firms operating in China and advocated for the security of sensitive business data. Measures have been taken to secure critical infrastructure, including the banning of high-risk vendors and the removal of Chinese companies from internal networks.

Both the EU and China agreed to exchange information on unsafe products sold online and to organize regular workshops and training sessions on product safety for EU companies selling online. The Chinese government expressed its commitment to high-level opening in the digital field and invited enterprises from all countries, including European ones, to participate in China’s digital economy development.

– Yao, P., & Zielonka, N. (2021, September 20). EU hosts second Digital Dialogue with China. EURACTIV.
– Hanson, S., & Laurisch, J. (2021, September 20). EU-China Digital Dialogue Highlights Areas of Cooperation and Challenges. The Diplomat.