Trade Groups Urge China to Suspend Rules on Foreign Technology

China's National Strategy
A paramilitary police officer stands guards in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing. China has unveiled a national strategy, reported by Bloomberg News in December, to purge most foreign technology for banks, state-owned enterprises and the military by 2020. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Trade groups from the U.S., Europe and Japan urged China to suspend guidelines that limit banks from using foreign technology, saying the policies discriminate against outsiders and limit Chinese companies’ security options.

In a letter dated Monday, 31 trade associations asked the ruling Communist Party’s cyberspace leading group to halt the rules from the banking regulator that are aimed at spreading the use of “secure and controllable” or Chinese-developed Internet and technology products.

“Approaches that keep out certain technologies would likely render China’s affected industries slower to innovate, more costly to operate, and less capable of managing dynamic security threats leaving Chinese networks less secure,” the groups said in the letter.

The protest follows a similar letter that several of the same groups sent in January seeking urgent talks with the party’s cyberspace leading group about the regulations, which they called “an overly broad, opaque, discriminatory approach to cybersecurity policy.” China has unveiled a national strategy, reported by Bloomberg News in December, to purge most foreign technology for banks, state-owned enterprises and the military by 2020.

China’s cyberspace administrator didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment about the letter. Cyberspace minister Lu Wei said in February others must resist making “false allegations” and countries should manage the Web together. He reiterated that China welcomes investment so long as those entering the country obey Chinese law.

— With assistance by Haixing Jin

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