By: Ngoc Son Bui & Jyh-An Lee
This Article is a comparative study of the cybersecurity laws adopted in China and Vietnam in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The two laws both converge and diverge. Their convergences include the stringent regulation of banned acts, network operators, critical infrastructure, data localization, and personal data. These are all shaped by the immediate diffusion of China’s Cybersecurity Law in Vietnam and broader structural factors: namely, the common features of the socialist state, socialist legality, and the statist approach to human rights. The foundational divergence is between the Chinese notion of cybersecurity sovereignty and the Vietnamese notion of national cyberspace, which is due to the global diffusion of cybersecurity law in Vietnam and the differences in technological infrastructure and developmental approaches—Chinese exceptionalism and Vietnamese universalism. This Article has implications for comparative law generally and comparative cybersecurity law particularly.