Taiwan is one of the “Four Asian Tiger” economies. Its companies hold 66% of the world’s semiconductor market. It consistently tops the USPTO per-capita list of patent files, and its population of about 25 million enjoys what is considered the world’s fastest internet connection. It is becoming a major player in data. Considered part of China by the PRC which refers to it as the “Taiwan Authority,” Taiwan declares itself to be the Republic of China. Despite geopolitical issues, robust business flows between the two. Taiwan is a leading investor in the PRC. Commerce between the two seems unimpeded by political differences. With rising tensions between the U.S. and PRC, alongside changes in Hong Kong that threaten the “one country two systems” approach, how should global business consider Taiwan? Is it a bridge for east-west data-related commerce?
John Eastwood leads of the Taiwan firm Eiger Law’s Greater China Practice. John EASTWOOD – Eiger. In this podcast John explains how Taiwan is becoming a major Asian data, financial and regional headquarter center for North American and European businesses, growing to rival Singapore and Hong Kong. Personal privacy protection is highly valued and regulated by Taiwan law that differs significantly from the PRC’s data localization regimen. Taiwan generally blocks flows of personal information from Taiwan to the PRC, and so can be viewed as a safe haven for western businesses that collect and process personal and company data in Asia. Unlike the PRC, Taiwan does not require data to be shared at will with government authorities.
Taiwan’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) adopts entirely neither the U.S. nor the GDPR model, though it embraces most of the key principles of the GDPR. Taiwan’s Personal Data Protection Rules – Taiwan Business TOPICS (amcham.com.tw). More flexible and consent-based than the EU’s regulation but comprehensive unlike the U.S. sectoral approach, Taiwan in recent years has broadened the protection of personal data while aiming to be attractive to multinational business seeking an east Asian data hub. Taiwan is pursuing an “adequacy decision” with the EU while addressing numerous concepts differently from the GDPR’s provisions.
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