Regional updates: Asia

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What were the main digital policy regional updates in Asia? This space brings you the main updates month by month, summarised by the observatory's curators.

Follow the GIP's June 2019 briefing on Internet governance, which will include updates from the Asian region during June. Register to attend.

June 2019

Curated by Amrita Choudhury

ASIC introduces updated regulatory guidelines for ICOs and crypto-assets
1 Jun 2019 |  Blockchain, E-Money and virtual currencies

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued updated regulatory guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets. According to the guidelines, cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms will have to obtain an Australian market license, while cryptocurrency payment and service providers will need to comply with the set of rules for non-cash payment facilities. Furthermore, the role of specific actors in the crypto-asset industry is defined, namely: crypto-asset issuers (ICO's), crypto-asset intermediaries, crypto-asset payment and merchant service providers, wallet providers, custody service providers, and consumers. Read the full document here.

China releases draft regulations on the Protection of Children’s Personal Information Online
5 Jun 2019 |  Child safety online, Privacy and data protection

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)  has released the draft Regulation on the Protection of Children’s Personal Information Online for network operators who collect, store, process, use, transfer, or disclose personal information related to children below 14 years. Public comments are invited on this draft by 30 June 2019.

The draft regulation requires network operators to notify and get consent before collecting the personal information of children, set up internal access controls to protect children's information, and appoint a personal information protection officer for children. The draft also outlines the obligations of third-party processors and joint controllers, guidelines for sharing and disclosing children’s personal information, the rights of children, and potential penalties for violation.

Sri Lanka proposes new law on fake news
6 Jun 2019 |  Content policy, Jurisdiction

Following the attacks that took place over Easter, Sri Lanka is now amending its Penal Code to include the spreading of fake news and hate speech on social media. The sentence will carry five years of imprisonment and a fine of one million rupees (USD$ 5715). This is in addition to last month’s regulations on combating fake news and giving the authorities the right to remove hateful content.

China issues 5G licenses for commercial use to China's major telecom carriers
6 Jun 2019 |  Digital standards, Telecommunications infrastructure

China has granted 5G licenses for commercial use to three major telecom carriers in the country, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, as well as the China Broadcasting Network. Licenses are being issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology following the announcement in May. The three telecom carriers had been granted trial 5G licenses at the end of 2018 and the announcement on 6 June gives the go ahead to begin commercial deployment ahead of the original timeline that was targeting that for 2020.

Level 3 automated vehicles will be allowed on public roads in Japan
6 Jun 2019 |  Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT)

Japanese lawmakers have enacted amendments to their Road Traffic Act which allowed for the use of autonomous cars on public roads. Under the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE International) Levels of Driving Automation, these would be considered Level 3 autonomous vehicles, which are capable of driving themselves autonomously but still require a driver at the wheel to re-assume control if needed. The amended law will come into effect in 2020. The swift approval of the changes, which came only six months after the proposal, could be part of the country’s plans to have a driverless car system by 2020 for the Tokyo Olympics.

China releases draft measures related to cross border transfer of personal information
13 Jun 2019 |  Privacy and data protection, Jurisdiction

The Cyberspace Administration of China is seeking public comments on the draft Measures on Security Assessment of the Cross-border Transfer of Personal Information by 13 July 2019. The draft covers operators of critical information infrastructure and network operators (every business that operates a network infrastructure) in China. As per this draft, personal information collected by network operators and foreign entities can only be sent overseas after a security assessment by the provincial-level cyberspace administrative department and being granted permission by the government.

Facebook not allowed to launch Libra in India
20 Jun 2019 |  E-Money and virtual currencies

Libra the cryptocurrency and Calibra the digital wallet, expected to be launched by Facebook next year, will not be available in India, since the current regulations of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) do not permit the use of banking networks for blockchain currency transactions. In April 2018, the RBI had mandated all regulated bodies to stop dealing in virtual currency due to the risks involved.

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