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South Korea urges AliExpress, Temu to comply with privacy laws

by Minkyung Shin

Apr. 19, 2024
8:13 PM GMT+9

The South Korean government has urged major Chinese online marketplaces to comply with the nation’s privacy laws.

On Thursday, officials from the Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) and the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) met in Beijing with representatives from the Internet Society of China (ISC). The ISC, a prominent internet industry group composed of over four-hundred member companies, hosted the gathering. Approximately 10 Chinese companies, including e-commerce giants AliExpress and Temu, attended the meeting. During the discussions, South Korean authorities stressed the importance of Chinese companies adhering to South Korean privacy laws when operating within their jurisdiction.

Choi Jang-hyuk, the vice chairperson of the PIPC, detailed South Korea’s privacy laws, emphasizing the provisions that international businesses must follow when operating within the country. He urged Chinese companies to protect the data of South Korean users as diligently as they do their Chinese clients’ information. The PIPC disclosed to The Readable that both the ISC and the attending e-commerce firms agreed to strive toward compliance with South Korean privacy regulations.

Last February, the PIPC initiated an investigation into the privacy practices of Chinese e-commerce platforms, including AliExpress and Temu. The probe is primarily concerned with how these companies manage the personal information of their South Korean users. The investigation is tasked with determining where this data is sent and how it is utilized. In South Korea, the popularity of Temu and AliExpress is rapidly growing, with these platforms ranking first and third respectively in the online app store shopping charts as of April 18.

Concerns are mounting over the circulation of South Korean consumers’ data through Chinese cyberspace. According to findings from KISA, there were more than 5,400 instances of South Korean citizens’ personal data appearing on Chinese websites, marking a 26% increase from 2020. Furthermore, approximately 75% of these cases involved data that had been illegally traded online last year.


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  • Minkyung Shin

    Minkyung Shin serves as a reporting intern for The Readable, where she has channeled her passion for cybersecurity news. Her journey began at Dankook University in Korea, where she pursued studies in...

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