Date
23 September 2017
IBM is likely to be among the foreign firms whose networking products will face greater scrutiny in China from June. Photo: Bloomberg
IBM is likely to be among the foreign firms whose networking products will face greater scrutiny in China from June. Photo: Bloomberg

China to start security checks on IT suppliers

China will begin new security reviews on foreign and domestic technology suppliers from June, a move aimed at keeping out products vulnerable to spying and hacking.

The scrutiny will apply to foreign companies providing hardware or services to Chinese firms in sectors such as energy, transportation and finance, as well as those selling to government agencies, public services and other “critical infrastructure”, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The suppliers will have to submit their products and services for review to a new committee administered by the Cyberspace Administration of China, according to the report.

Product security will be evaluated by benchmarks including vulnerability to tampering, supply-chain risks and customer-information protection.

The committee can turn down a product for unspecified risks to national security.

The checks are being implemented to ensure technology is “secure and controllable”, the Chinese internet regulator was quoted as saying in a statement Tuesday.

The term “secure and controllable” has been controversial, with foreign firms saying they have come under pressure in Beijing to reveal proprietary information such as source code to prove their products are secure, the Journal noted.

Although the standards are more restrictive than current practices, the measures announced this week are less restrictive than draft measures circulated for industry comment in February, according to the paper.

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