China and the European Union held talks on artificial intelligence (AI) and cross-border data flows during a high-level digital dialogue in Beijing. The first dialogue of its kind in three years, the meeting was co-chaired by China’s Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing and the European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova. Amidst tensions over an EU investigation into China’s electric vehicle (EV) subsidies, the talks covered topics such as data regulation, platforms, industrial data flow, AI, research and innovation, information and communication technology, and product safety.
The talks come after the European Commission President announced an investigation into whether to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese EVs, a move that China criticized as a “protectionist act.” The European Commission raised concerns about “difficulties faced by EU companies in China to make use of their industrial data” without specifying the legislation in question. It is important to note that China expanded its counter-espionage law in July, prohibiting the transfer of any information related to national security and broadening the definition of spying. Despite these tensions, Zhang expressed China’s willingness to welcome companies from around the world to participate in its digital economy and achieve mutually beneficial results.
This dialogue reflects the growing importance of AI and cross-border data flows in international discussions. Both China and the EU recognize the need for an open, fair, and non-discriminatory environment for the development of the digital economy. By addressing key issues and promoting cooperation, they aim to enhance bilateral relations and ensure the prosperity of their respective digital industries.
Overall, this digital dialogue is a positive step towards fostering greater understanding and cooperation between China and the EU on digital issues. Companies from both regions can look forward to potential opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and market access.
– Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/technology/china-eu-hold-digital-talks-amid-ev-dispute-2022-01-17/
– Xinhua News Agency: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2022-01/17/c_1311648361.htm