Reed Smith Client Alerts

Following China’s Cybersecurity Law (CSL), which came into effect on June 1, 2017 and requires the implementation of a multi-level protection scheme for cybersecurity (article 21), China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) issued a new draft Regulation on the Cybersecurity Multi-Level Protection Scheme (MLPS) for public comments in June this year.

Authors: Catherine Jing Amy Yin Xiaoyan Zhang

The draft MLPS amends the existing MLPS, initially released in 2007, requiring, among other things, that “network operators” comply with cybersecurity requirements based on the level of risk assigned to them. Because network operators, broadly defined in the CSL as “owners, administrators of the network and network service providers,” could in practice cover any entity operating a computer network in China, including intranets, the draft will, once finalized, present another compliance challenge for multinational corporations.

  • How are the classifications defined?

The draft MLPS classifies networks operating in China into five levels (from least to most critical) based on the networks’ relative impact on national security, social order, public interest, and individuals’ rights if compromised. Below is a table indicating the classification provided under the draft MLPS:

Classification

If such level of network is attacked or damaged, it would cause:

Level 1

- General damage to legitimate rights and interests of individuals, legal persons and other organizations only.

Level 2

- Significant damage to legitimate rights and interests of individuals, legal persons and other organizations; or

- general damage to social order and public interest.

Level 3

- Severe damage to legitimate rights and interests of individuals, legal persons and other organizations;

- significant damage to social order and public interest; or

- general damage to national security.

Level 4

- Severe damage to social order and public interest; or

- significant damage to national security.

Level 5

- Severe damage to national security.