China may change cybersecurity rules amid pushback: report

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China is considering delaying contentious cybersecurity rules set to go into effect in June amid pushback from international groups, Reuters reported.

Earlier this week, dozens of organizations from numerous countries and sectors wrote to the Cyberspace Administration of China of their “significant concerns” with parts of the new law, asking that it be delayed.

The Cyberspace Administration of China then organized a meeting with representatives of international technology companies and others on Friday, Reuters reported, to propose adjustments to implementation of parts of the law.

{mosads}One potential change would be establishing a “phase-in” period, which would delay full implementation for 18 months — or until the end of next year. It is unclear what other changes were proposed at the meeting.

The cyber law is due to go into effect at the start of June.

Among its controversial provisions, the law would force companies to pass mandated security reviews and store data on servers inside of China.

In the May 15 letter, 50 global industry organizations expressed concern that the rules would “effectively erect trade barriers along national boundaries that effectively bar participation in your market and affect companies across industry sectors that rely on information technology goods and services to conduct business.” 

“China’s current course risks compromising its legitimate security objectives (and may even weaken security) while burdening industry and undermining the foundation of China’s relations with its commercial partners,” the organizations wrote. 

“Indeed, our organizations remain concerned that China’s current approach is leading to greater separation rather than integration among our economies,” they wrote.

The letter’s signatories included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Software Alliance.

China has couched the new law, which was adopted in November, as an effort to combat hacking and boost national security.

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