China Net Regulator Rejects ‘False Allegations’ Amid Complaints

China’s Internet regulator said countries must resist making false allegations and manage the web together, after U.S. business groups raised concerns that new security policies may block foreign technology in the country.

“Cyberspace is shared by the entire international community,” Lu Wei, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said at the agency’s Chinese New Year reception today. “We need to support each other rather than doing each other’s job, and we need mutual respect rather than making attacks or false allegations.”

Lu spoke days after 17 groups including the American Chamber of Commerce in China wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other government officials saying that Chinese standards for “secure and controllable” technology would require foreign technology firms to submit to intrusive testing and hand over source code.

China “welcomes any companies around the world to make investment in China as long as it obeys Chinese law and doesn’t damage the interests of the country and Chinese consumers,” Lu said. “China’s policy of opening up will not be changed.”

The business groups had raised similar concerns in a Jan. 28 letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Central Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group. Lu, who concurrently serves as the director of the office, didn’t directly address their concerns.

Chinese Market

If fully implemented, the policies threaten the ability of U.S. companies to join China’s $465 billion market for information technology products and call into question China’s international trade commitments, according to the groups.

In a response to the criticisms, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a press conference last week that the government “welcomes and supports foreign companies to expand their markets in China, and to cooperate with Chinese enterprises in research and manufacturing.”

China and the U.S. have been dragged into a cybersecurity debate since Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying by the U.S. National Security Agency and accused the intelligence service of hacking into the computers of Tsinghua University, one of the China’s top research centers.