Qichacha, a leading corporate database provider in China, has announced a significant step forward in its global expansion efforts. After successfully passing a rigorous data export security assessment conducted by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the company is set to launch a new platform dedicated to overseas users. This move marks a pivotal moment in Beijing’s ongoing efforts to modify stringent cross-border data rules, aiming to rejuvenate foreign business interests in the country.
Established nine years ago, Qichacha has grown into a formidable force in the corporate information sector, amassing over 400 million users. The company provides detailed insights into millions of businesses, offering vital data such as company addresses, contact details, ownership structures, and legal history. This information plays a crucial role in helping investors and businesses make well-informed decisions.
Earlier this year, China’s new data security and anti-espionage laws prompted major domestic data providers, including Qichacha, Tianyancha, and Wind, to restrict access to specific data for users outside mainland China. The new regulations, which came into effect in September of the previous year, mandated companies to undergo a security review before exporting crucial data, leading to a surge in compliance requirements and documentation.
In response to these regulations and the need for a global presence, Qichacha developed its new international platform with enhanced security measures. While the company hasn’t detailed how the international version will differ from its domestic counterpart, the approval of this platform is a significant step by the CAC. It aligns with the regulator’s recent proposal to relax rules on outbound data flows, a response to the business community’s concerns about the regulatory environment.
The loosening of data export rules by the CAC is viewed as an attempt by the Chinese government to boost foreign investor confidence and attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. Despite these efforts, investors remain cautious, especially in the wake of Beijing’s clampdown on foreign consultancies and the implementation of new anti-espionage laws.
The decline in FDI in China in the early months of the year, coupled with the first quarterly deficit in direct investment liabilities since data collection began in 1998, highlights the challenges facing the Chinese economy. Qichacha’s move to launch an overseas platform could be a harbinger of more Chinese firms adapting to the evolving regulatory landscape and seeking a broader international presence.