Date
23 May 2017
An Apple store in Shanghai. Trade groups from around the world have signed a letter seeking a delay in China’s new cybersecurity law. Photo: WSJ
An Apple store in Shanghai. Trade groups from around the world have signed a letter seeking a delay in China’s new cybersecurity law. Photo: WSJ

Global tech companies urge China to delay cybersecurity law

Trade groups representing US, European and Asian companies is calling on China to delay a cybersecurity law set to go into force June 1, saying it could discriminate against foreign businesses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The law, adopted late last year, sets up a committee to conduct security reviews of technology products supplied to the Chinese government and critical industries.

Its requirements on matters such as technology disclosure and encryption could give local companies a competitive edge, the groups said in a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

“Our concerns encompass enormously consequential issues for China’s economy, its relations with economic and commercial partners, and the global economy,” said the letter, dated Monday and signed by 54 trade groups including the US-China Business Council, American Chamber of Commerce in China, BusinessEurope, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Korea-China Business Council.

China’s internet regulator couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. In the past, it has maintained the rules are neutral and nondiscriminatory. Some of the law’s provisions were softened after they drew criticism from western trade groups and governments.

Wording requiring companies to submit “source code” to prove their products are secure was removed in the final version of the law.

Critics say the law’s vague wording still hands Chinese regulators broad powers to block a technology company’s products.

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RC/RA

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