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WITSA Signs Global Industry Letter, Warns Against Chinese Proposed Restrictions on Data Flows



August 19, 2022

Contact:          Dr. Jim Poisant, Secretary General. Mobile +1 703 728-4547 E:
                          Mr. Anders Halvorsen. Mobile: +1 571 265-5964 E:  


WITSA Signs Global Industry Letter, Warns Against Chinese Proposed Restrictions on Data Flows

 Fairfax, VA:  The World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) has co-signed a global industry letter providing comments on China’s draft Standard Contract Provisions for the Exit of Personal Information (“Standard Contract Provisions”). The letter is in response to an open consultation by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) and argues that it is important that the CAC design the standard contract provisions to be a valid and effective transfer mechanism under the Personal Information Protection Law (“PIPL”). As designed, there is concern that the proposed framework may be unworkable in practice for many Chinese and foreign entities. The ability to transfer data securely across transnational digital networks is of central importance to the national policy objectives of many countries, including China.

WITSA has an established policy advocating against restrictions of the free flow of information across borders in its data flows paper, calling ‘data’ an essential resource for healthy economic growth and warning that that excessive restrictions on the flow of data hinders the barrier to secure management and protection of data

“In today’s global economy, consumers, regulators, and businesses all benefit from a constant stream of data flowing seamlessly back and forth across national borders”, stated WITSA Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant. “Businesses use data to create valuable products and services, enhance productivity, reduce costs, improve efficiency, deter fraud, protect consumers, and foster economic growth and jobs”, continued. Dr. Poisant. “To secure these benefits, it is essential to have clear, consistent rules in place that allow for the unimpeded flow of data except as limited to legitimate public policy objectives.” In general, National Security, Data Privacy etc. should not be used as a lever to restrict data flows, and mandate data localization.

“When foreign goods, services, or IP are disadvantaged in a market, that can distort trade, discourage foreign direct investment, and push other trading partners to impose similarly detrimental measures”, stated WITSA Vice President for Global Public Policy, Anders Halvorsen. “Often over the long term, these measures can hinder economic growth and competitiveness objectives that they were intended to achieve”, continued Halvorsen. “For these reasons, WITSA strongly advocates against localization and other barriers and instead encourage governments to pursue policy approaches that help their economic growth and competitiveness without discriminating against imported goods or services.”

WITSA has been vigilant in working with likeminded industry groups in opposing restrictive data-flows regulations. In December 2021, WITSA signed a global industry letter on draft data transfer assessment measures from the Cyberspace Administration of China, and in June 2021, WITSA signed another multi-association letter on China’s draft Personal Information Protection and Data Security Laws.

About WITSA:

The World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global digital technology industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world tech market. WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in digital technology products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.

WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the digital technology industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members – ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States – to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues. For more information on WITSA, please visit