S. Korea requests Chinese e-commerce giants comply with personal data protection law

The South Korean private information protection watchdog requested Chinese e-commerce giants Thursday to faithfully comply with the South Korean law on personal data protection, the agency said. Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) Vice Chairperson Choi Jang-hyuk made the request during a meeting in Beijing with officials from AliExpress, Temu and about eight other Chinese internet firms, as Chinese e-commerce firms have rapidly emerged as major players in South Korea. A senior executive from the Internet Society of China and officials from the Korea Internet and Security Agency were also among the attendees. During the meeting, Choi introduced South Korea's personal data protection act and emphasized the precautions that foreign firms have to take regarding data protection when doing business in the country. He also shared with the Chinese side key points from the PIPC's recently published booklet on the application of the law to foreign companies, the watchdog said. In China, Choi also at tended the opening ceremony of a South Korea-China center for internet cooperation and agreed with the Chinese side to increase efforts to comply with each other's personal data protection laws. According to Wiseapp Retail Goods, a market analysis service provider, the number of monthly users of the AliExpress application reached 8.18 million in February in South Korea, marking a sharp increase of 130 percent from a year ago. In terms of total user numbers, AliExpress currently ranks as the No. 2 player after Coupang, while Temu, which made inroads into South Korea in July last year, has emerged as the fourth biggest online shopping mall, with 5.81 million users. As concerns recently arose over personal data protection by Chinese e-commerce players operating in South Korea, Ko Hak-soo, the PIPC's chairperson, has said his agency was looking into how Chinese e-commerce firms, such as AliExpress and Temu, have been collecting and using consumer data. Source: Yonhap News Agency