Petition to revise draft cyber rules

IN a letter addressed to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, 46 global business groups spanning finance, information technology, insurance and manufacturing urged Beijing to revise its draft cyber rules which they said would hamper trade.

The signatories include industry associations from Asia, Australia, the United States, Mexico and Europe, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.

Foreign industry groups have made no secret of their concerns over China’s draft cyber security law, which in June underwent a second of three parliamentary readings typically required before being adopted.

They say the draft regulations, as well as cyber rules from China’s insurance regulator, include provisions for invasive government security reviews and onerous requirements to keep data in China.

“Trade-inhibiting security reviews” for information and communications technology products and services under the rules may weaken security and constitute technical barriers to trade under the World Trade Organization, the groups said in the letter.

Broad data residency requirements “would impede economic growth and create barriers to entry for both foreign and Chinese companies”, they said, urging China to revise the rules.

“The current drafts, if implemented, would weaken security and separate China from the global digital economy.”

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