Regulating Asia’s AI Ecosystem

AI legislation is a hot topic and one that has got plenty of companies wary and excited at the same time. Asia is proving to be a hotbed for AI research and development, with many countries vying to take the lead in AI. Currently, there is no overarching AI legislation in Asia. However, several Asian countries have introduced various measures to regulate AI development and applications.

In China, the government has released a number of initiatives and policies to support the development of AI. In July 2017, the Chinese Cabinet released the “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan,” which outlines the country’s plans to become a world leader in AI by 2030. The plan includes measures to support AI research, development, and commercialization.

In South Korea, the government has also released several initiatives targeting AI development. In March 2017, the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT released the “Basic Plan for Artificial Intelligence”. The Korean government realizes that AI is the future, and it must take steps now to regulate AI so that it can be one of the leaders in the field. As such, it has revealed new policies and initiatives that are going to support AI research and development while ensuring that AI is used in the commercial space as well.

In Japan, the government has been supportive of AI development but has not yet introduced specific legislation or regulations. In 2016, the Japanese Cabinet Office released the “Strategy for Artificial Intelligence”. The strategy outlines the government’s plans to support AI research and development. The end result is reviewing the development of AI and ensuring that Japan is one of the front runners when it comes to AI legislation in the industry.

In Singapore, the government has taken numerous steps toward aiding the research and development of AI. In 2017, the Singaporean government launched the “Smart Nation and Digital Government Group”, which is responsible for developing a national strategy for AI. The government has also established a $150 million fund to support AI research and development.

In India, the government has adopted the approach toward the research and development of AI. In 2017, the Indian government launched the “Digital India” initiative, which includes a number of initiatives to promote digital literacy and infrastructure development. The interest and seriousness of the government can be ascertained from the fact that they have already established a $1 billion fund that will be reserved for researching AI and developing new technologies.

Asian countries are taking various approaches to regulating AI development and applications. Some countries, such as China and South Korea, have introduced specific legislation and regulations. Other nations, like Japan and Singapore, have been supportive of AI development but have not yet introduced specific legislation or regulations.

India is taking a mixed approach, with a focus on promoting digital literacy and infrastructure development, as well as supporting AI research and development.

AI Regulation In China

In China, the law on artificial intelligence (AI) is still in its infancy. However, the Chinese government has been working on developing a comprehensive legal framework to govern the use of AI and other emerging technologies.            So far, there are no specific laws or regulations specifically addressing AI. However, there are several existing laws and regulations that may apply to AI-related activities, depending on the specific application.

For example, the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Cybersecurity Law”) provides a general regulatory framework for the use of information and communications technologies, including AI. The law requires companies to take measures to ensure the security of their systems and data, and imposes certain obligations on companies to report incidents and take remedial measures. In addition, the Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Advertising Law”) prohibits false or misleading advertising, including advertising that uses AI to generate fake reviews or testimonials.

Also, the Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Contract Law”) contains general principles that may be relevant to agreements relating to the use of AI, such as the principle of good faith and the prohibition of unfair terms.

The Chinese government is aware of the need for comprehensive regulation of AI and is actively working on developing specific laws and regulations in this area. In the meantime, companies should be aware of the general legal principles that may apply to their AI-related activities.

AI Legislation In Japan

As of March 2020, there is no specific legislation governing AI in Japan. However, the government is currently working on a draft bill that would create a new legal framework for AI. The draft bill has not been released to the public yet, but it is expected to address issues such as data governance and liability.

In the meantime, several existing laws and regulations could apply to AI, depending on the specific application. For example, the Personal Information Protection Act governs the use of personal data, including for AI purposes. The act requires data controllers to obtain consent from individuals before collecting, using, or disclosing their personal data.

The e-Commerce Law also contains provisions that could apply to AI. For example, the law requires online service providers to take measures to protect users’ personal information from unauthorized access or destruction.

The Employment Insurance Act could also be relevant to AI, as it contains provisions governing the termination of employment contracts. For example, the act requires employers to provide advance notice of termination and to offer severance pay to employees who are dismissed.

It should also be noted that the Consumer Protection Law contains provisions that could apply to AI-based products and services. For example, the law requires businesses to ensure that their products and services are safe for consumers and to provide accurate information about those products and services.

The government is expected to release the draft bill on AI sometime in 2020. Until then, businesses should be aware of the potential legal risks associated with AI and take steps to mitigate those risks.

AI Legislation In South Korea

South Korea has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) development and adoption. The country has a number of initiatives aimed at promoting AI innovation and growth. In 2017, the South Korean government released a five-year plan for developing the country’s AI industry, with the plan including a target of investing $1.6 billion in AI by 2022.

In 2018, the South Korean government passed legislation to create a new legal framework for regulating AI and related technologies. The law establishes a number of guidelines for the development and use of AI in the country. It also sets up a task force to monitor and evaluate AI development and implementation.

The South Korean government is also working on a number of other initiatives to promote AI development and adoption. For example, the government is investing in research and development of new AI technologies. It is also working on plans to create an AI ecosystem in the country with the end goal of making South Korea a world leader in AI innovation and development.

The South Korean government’s efforts to promote AI development and adoption are paying off. The country is home to a number of leading AI companies and research institutes, and South Korea is also one of the world’s largest markets for AI-related products and services.

AI Legislation in South Korea is playing an important role in the country’s economic development and competitiveness. The government’s initiatives are helping to create an environment that is conducive to AI innovation and growth. All of that has ensured that South Korea is well on its way to becoming a world leader in AI development and implementation.

AI Legislation In Singapore

In recent years, the development of artificial intelligence (AI) has accelerated at an unprecedented rate, with wide-ranging applications in various sectors such as healthcare, finance, and transportation. In Singapore, the Government has been proactive in harnessing AI to drive innovation and economic growth. For instance, the Smart Nation initiative was launched in 2014 to harness the power of technology, data, and analytics to improve the lives of citizens and businesses.

In 2016, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) released Singapore’s first AI Strategy, which set out a roadmap for the development of AI in Singapore. The strategy includes plans to build an AI Singapore ecosystem, develop talent and invest in research and development (R&D).

In 2018, the IMDA released an updated version of the AI strategy, which includes plans to establish a $150 million Applied Artificial Intelligence Grant to support businesses in adopting AI technologies. The grant will be used to co-fund up to 70% of qualifying AI projects.

To date, there is no specific legislation in Singapore that regulates the use of AI. However, the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) and the Spam Control Act 2006 (SCA) are relevant to the use of AI as they regulate the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data and the sending of commercial electronic messages, respectively.

The Singapore Government has been proactive in harnessing AI to drive innovation and economic growth. The country may have been slow in adopting AI legislation and coming out with a cohesive plan for AI research and development, but it is still regarded by many AI companies as one of the best places to do business. It remains to be seen how the government will respond to AI in the coming years, as that will paint the real picture for AI adoption and development in the country.

AI Legislation In India

In recent years, the Government of India has taken several steps to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive in the country. One such initiative is the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) legislation in India.

The government’s move to regulate AI comes as businesses are increasingly using the technology to automate various processes and tasks. While AI has the potential to boost efficiency and productivity, it also poses risks to data privacy and security.

To address these concerns, the government has proposed a number of measures in its AI legislation. For instance, the bill requires businesses to obtain consent from individuals before collecting and using their data. Businesses will also be required to disclose how they are using AI and ensure that their algorithms are fair and transparent.

The government’s AI legislation is a positive step toward safeguarding the rights of individuals and promoting the responsible use of AI in India. However, it remains to be seen how effective the bill will be in practice.


Finally, AI legislation in Asia is still in its infancy. However, with the increasing adoption of AI technologies and applications, it is expected that more countries will start to put in place regulations to govern the use of AI. In the meantime, companies operating in Asia should keep abreast of the latest developments in AI legislation in order to ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Marc-Roger Gagné MAPP