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Key takeaways from China’s pioneering draft regulations on recommendation algorithms

China’s attempt to regulate algorithms is a major breakaway from data regulations in any other part of the world.

"This policy marks the moment that China's tech regulation is not simply keeping pace with data regulations in the EU, but has gone beyond them," Kendra Schaefer, a researcher at Trivium China, tweeted in response to the draft regulations for recommendation algorithms published by the Cyberspace Administration of China on August 27. China has been heavily regulating large parts of its economy in the last year, particularly the tech sector. It has launched investigations into and reprimanded large companies like Alibaba, Tencent, Didi, ByteDance, and others, and, most recently, passed the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), one of the world’s strictest data privacy laws. China’s crackdown not only has repercussions within the country but throughout the world. Its approach to regulating the tech industry will shape how other countries approach the same. Here are key takeaways of the country's latest draft regulations for recommendation algorithms. The following content is based on unofficial translations of the original Chinese version provided by Stanford's DigiChina center and China Law Translate.  What are the new regulations targetting? According to Article 2, the rules will apply to recommendation algorithms within China such as algorithms of the following types: generative or synthetic, personalised recommendation, ranking and selection, search filter, and dispatching and decision-making. Responsibilities of companies using recommendation algorithms Should be used to disseminate positive energy and for good: Article 6 of the draft bill states that companies must use recommendation algorithms to uphold mainstream value orientations, optimise algorithmic recommendation service mechanisms, vigorously disseminate positive energy, and advance the use of algorithms upwards and in the direction…

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