China stresses cyber sovereignty approach but keeps open mind about global internet

China stresses cyber sovereignty approach but keeps open mind about global internet

China stresses cyber sovereignty approach but keeps open mind about global internet

Updated 3 December 2017, 20:35 AEDT

China's President Xi Jinping says the country will not close its door to the global internet, but that cyber sovereignty is key in the country's vision of internet development.

China's President Xi Jinping has said the country will not close its door to the global internet, but that cyber sovereignty is key in its vision of internet development.

Key points:

  • Foreign firms required to store data locally, submit to data surveillance
  • Regulators say laws are designed to protect personal privacy
  • Google, Facebook, Twitter and most western news outlets banned in China

Mr Xi's comments were read by Huang Kunming, head of the Chinese Communist Party's publicity department at the country's largest public cyber policy forum in the town of Wuzhen in eastern China.

"The development of China's cyberspace is entering a fast lane … China's doors will only become more and more open," Mr Xi wrote in the note.

Cyber sovereignty is the idea that states should be permitted to manage and contain their own internet without external interference.

China's Communist Party has tightened cyber regulation in the past year, formalising new rules that require firms to store data locally and censor tools that allow users to subvert the country's censorship system The Great Firewall.

In June, China introduced a new national cybersecurity law that requires foreign firms to store data locally and submit to data surveillance measures.

Cyber regulators said the laws are in line with international rules, and that they are designed to protect personal privacy and counter attacks on core infrastructure. But business groups said the rules unfairly target foreign firms.

China has advocated strongly for a larger role in global internet governance under Mr Xi.

"China stands ready to develop new rules and systems of internet governance to serve all parties and counteract current imbalances," said Wang Huning, a member of the Communist Party standing committee at the event on Sunday.

The conference, which is overseen by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) invited foreign executives, Apple Inc's CEO, Tim Cook, and Google Inc chief, Sundar Pichai, as well as a Facebook Inc executive.

Google, Facebook and YouTube are banned in China, along with Twitter and most major western news outlets like the BBC and New York Times.

Top executives from Alibaba, Tencent Holdings and Baidu also attended the forum.

Reuters