Date
22 July 2017
China is being urged to improve working conditions for information and communications technology, ensure rule of law and create transparency in cross-border flows of digital data and technology. Photo: Reuters
China is being urged to improve working conditions for information and communications technology, ensure rule of law and create transparency in cross-border flows of digital data and technology. Photo: Reuters

US firms press China to improve transparency

American companies are pressing China to improve transparency, market access and intellectual-property rights protection after a recent spate of hurdles for foreign businesses.

They want Beijing to implement industry-wide measures from technology to pharmaceuticals, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China is urging Chinese leaders to improve working conditions for information and communications technology, ensure rule of law and create transparency in “cross-border flows of digital data and technology” in a white paper released Tuesday.

Lawmakers should consult the technology industry before drafting new policies and regulations, said the group, which represents 1,000 member businesses in the mainland.

Also, it is pushing for measures to boost conditions for healthcare and pharmaceutical businesses such as unified standards, consistent regulatory enforcement and improved protection of intellectual property.

Other sectors such as agriculture, automotive, media and entertainment face market barriers and unfair restrictions, the industry group said.

The financial services sector faces investment caps and the cosmetic and health-care industries face arbitrary inspections with unjustified fines, it said.

Many of the chamber’s suggestions for policy makers are long-standing positions.

The latest pleas to improve standards and legal transparency come as regulatory challenges have picked up.

US, European and Japanese businesses have been fighting new bank-technology rules that would require them to turn over proprietary-software source codes and encryption keys and submit to intense testing.

Chinese leaders suspended plans to implement the rules but the chamber cautioned that suspension doesn’t mean companies are in the clear.

“These were suspended but that doesn’t mean it’s over yet,” said James Zimmerman, AmCham China chairman.

“It’s not something that we feel is completely resolved,” Zimmerman said.

The group is concerned about transparency in the negotiation of banking rules, saying the dispute would not have escalated to the levels that it did — sparking fear in tech groups and involving top national regulators–had the policy-making process been less opaque.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe