Amid industry pushback, China offers changes to cyber rules: sources

Fri May 19, 2017 5:15pm EDT
 
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By Michael Martina and Cate Cadell

BEIJING (Reuters) - China may delay full implementation of controversial new cyber security rules, giving companies more time to prepare, two people who attended a meeting on Friday between the country's internet regulator, businesses and diplomats told Reuters.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) called the meeting - with around 100 participants, including representatives from global technology firms - to present last-minute changes to implementation rules for China's new Cyber Security Law which is due to come into effect on June 1.

One of those changes was a new 18-month phase-in period from June, two attendees said, suggesting the law would not be fully implemented until the end of 2018.

The new law aims to meet growing threats such as terrorism and hacking. Chinese officials say the law applies equally to both domestic and foreign companies.

The CAC did not immediately respond to a faxed request seeking comment on what was a closed-door meeting.

Business groups have lobbied Beijing to delay or water down the law mandating strict data surveillance and storage for firms working in China. Concerns are that the law would lead to uncertainties and compliance risks.

In a letter to the CAC earlier this week, seen by Reuters, more than 50 industry bodies covering 11 countries and sectors from financial services to healthcare said there were significant concerns the new law could negatively impact billions of dollars in cross-border trade.

Some attendees said Chinese officials had made some concessions, but Reuters was unable to ascertain specifics.   Continued...

 
FILE PHOTO: A man works on his computer inside a coffee shop in downtown Shanghai September 25, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria