Thu, Jan 22, 2015 - Page 15 News List

Beijing to vet foreign tech starting this year: agency


China’s Internet regulator announced a new mechanism to screen information technology products before they can be approved for domestic use.

The system will go into effect this year, Cyberspace Administration of China Deputy Director Peng Bo (彭波) said at a news conference in Beijing yesterday.

The regulator said in May last year that products and services would be banned from entering the country if they are not deemed safe and controllable, Xinhua news agency reported at the time.

The decision to screen foreign technology was triggered by statements by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who disclosed widespread spying by the US National Security Agency. Snowden said the US hacked into the computers of Tsinghua University, one of the China’s top research centers, Xinhua reported.

China is aiming to purge most foreign technology from banks, its military, state-owned enterprises and key government agencies by 2020, and substitute China-made products, people familiar with the plan told Bloomberg last year.

The push is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) effort to speed the development of the information technology industry announced at the first meeting of his new Internet security panel in February last year.

The review will include new regulations and government organs to facilitate and coordinate technology oversight, the regulator said in November last year.

Chinese Academy of Engineering leading scientist Ni Guangnan (倪光南) in May last year said that most key information products used in China are from the US, which has “potential security risks.”

The new mechanism would protect domestic Internet security, and raise the threshold for foreign companies aiming to enter China, Xinhua cited him as saying.

Separately, Peng said the department plans a six-month nationwide campaign against Internet extortion. The review will target news portals, Web firms, social media sites and public relation firms that are suspected of demanding money to forgo publishing damaging information.

Chinese Internet regulators will also be targeted, as some officials have been found to be engaged in deleting online posts for money.

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