China has been on the receiving end for long. Whether it is allegations of embedded backdoors in the telecom equipments and hardware of Chinese telecom companies or cyber warfare and cyber espionage allegations, China has always remained on the receiving end. The recent allegations by United States of cyber spying by China against U.S. companies have further added heat to the already strained relationships between China and U.S. China is already struggling to resolve territory related disputes with adjacent countries and these allegations of U.S. would further cause stress to China.
The effect of all these developments can already be seen in the policy decisions of China. For instance, China has decided that it would investigate providers of important IT products and services to protect “national security” and “economic and social development” of China. The companies that would be unable to satisfy Chinese concerns would not be allowed to operate in Chinese territories. In fact, products that do not meet security requirements will be banned.
China has already banned new central government computers from using Windows 8 and is working in the direction of making the use of existing Windows XP more secure. China may also explore the possibility of using indigenously made operating systems and cyber security softwares.
The proposed investigations would check product security and seek to prevent suppliers from illegally gathering, storing or processing user data. “For a long time, governments and enterprises of a few countries have gathered sensitive information on a large scale, taking advantage of their monopoly in the market and technological edge”, Jiang Jun, spokesman for the State Council Information Office says.
A small number of governments and businesses “take advantage of technological monopolies to collect sensitive data on a large scale” from the Chinese government, business and institutions, Xinhua added, saying there had been extensive wiretapping and security breaches. Xinhua did not give details of which governments or businesses it was referring to but U.S. security standards for information technology were not transparent or clear-cut, Xinhua added.