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Is Web Scraping Legal in China?

Web scraping is not clearly defined in the Chinese legal system, and there is no specific legislation that addresses it directly. However, web scraping may be considered a violation of China's laws related to computer crime, intellectual property, and data protection.

Under the Chinese Criminal Law, unauthorized access to computer systems or the unauthorized use of computer systems can be considered a crime. This means that web scraping a website without the website owner's permission could be considered a criminal offense.

China also has laws related to intellectual property, including the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China, which can protect the rights of website owners. So, scraping a website without permission could be considered a violation of copyright law.

In addition to that, China's Cyber Security Law (CSL) which came into effect in June 2017, has provisions that could be interpreted as applying to web scraping. The CSL regulates the collection, storage and use of personal information, and it requires companies to obtain prior consent from users before collecting their personal information. This means that web scraping a website for personal data without obtaining consent from the individuals could be considered a violation of the CSL.

So, it's important to note that while web scraping is not explicitly illegal in China, it may still be considered a violation of other laws and regulations, and it's always a good idea to obtain permission from website owners before scraping their sites.