China’s information security rules justified

By Su Tan Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-2 0:08:01

Over the weekend, the US media reported that dozens of executives of Silicon Valley companies and trade association officials had asked Washington to get tough with Beijing, assuming that China's new regulations on information security would give them a tougher business environment in China. Earlier in February, four senior US officials, Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman, signed and sent a letter to their Chinese counterparts to ask for the suspension of a banking regulation.

On Friday, the banking rules were criticized by Froman as "not about security," but "about protectionism and favoring Chinese companies."

The rules ask Chinese banks to use domestic technology and equipment that are secure and controllable and the coverage should be expanded to 75 percent by 2019.

This indicates a trend that Chinese technology companies will become major players to ensure China's financial information security in the aftermath of the revelations by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden over the large-scale espionage activities of the US.

China lags behind the US in information technology, but it has a $465 billion market. Whenever China acts rightfully to secure its economic security, it will often be criticized by US business sector and politicians as being a cover for trade protectionism.

While it claims to be an open market, the US is not immune to trade protectionism. Its "Buy America" policies that require domestic providers to be preferred by both state and federal governments have been criticized by Canada.

It continuously uses the so-called "non-market economy" mind-set to decide whether China dumps goods into the US market, which however violates World Trade Organization rules. When the US government rejected services by Chinese tech companies such as Huawei over national security concerns and issued warnings to not buy from them, China did not respond as the US is right now.

China has no intention or grounds to isolate itself from the advanced technologies of other countries and its concerns and measures to enhance information security are fully justified and reality-based.

Just last week, SIM card maker Gemalto said the NSA and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had launched attacks on its computer systems. Gemalto provided products for some of the world's biggest telecom carriers and also provided SIM cards for China Mobile Ltd.

While China continues to keep opening up and seek fast development, US enterprises should give due respect to the country's rules and regulations and improve their communication and coordination with relevant agencies in China so as to achieve a win-win outcome.

Posted in: Observer

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