An article on Inside Counsel from Symantec – Clearwell called Like the Great Wall: E-discovery barriers still exist between the U.S. and China summarises succinctly the difficulties faced by those who seek electronic discovery on the US model from China. The key sentence identifying the problem is this one:
Although Chinese companies doing business in the US are technically bound to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this fact will not change Chinese corporate culture.
As the article explains, Chinese privacy and data protection laws, including the very wide definition of “state secrets”, raises issues for US regulatory bodies as well as for parties to civil proceedings under FRCP. If there is to be the “reconciliation” referred to at the end of the article, it can only be achieved by diplomatic means.
It is worth reminding you about Symantec’s useful collection of eDiscovery Passports which describe the basic issues relating to disclosure and data privacy in various countries around the world. At the time of writing, that page includes a featured broadcast with the title eDisclosure v eDiscovery: how disclosure rules in the United Kingdom are affecting organisations around the globe given by Symantec eDiscovery counsel Philip Favro and by me.