China is reportedly making plans to form a national data bureau that will be responsible for coordinating the sharing and development of the country's data resources, according to a reform plan submitted on Tuesday to parliament.
This move further strengthens the state's oversight over data collected in the country, motivated by the belief that data has become a strategic economic resource and is needed to accelerate the nation's modernization in the new digital era. Also over fears that unchecked collection by private firms could allow state actors to weaponise information on infrastructure and other national interests.
According to the reform plan, the proposed bureau will be administrated by the state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). It will be responsible for advancing the development of data-related fundamental institutions and coordinating the integration, development and application of data resources to build a digital economy and society in the country.